What are the powers of Labour Courts?

As a result of promulgation of Punjab Industrial Relations Act, 2010 (PIRA-2010), Labour Court was established in the Province of Punjab.

The courts that have been established are two in Lahore and one each at Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan.

There are number of Articles in the Constitution pertaining to Labour rights found in Part II: Fundamental Rights and Principles of Policy. These are as follows:

    • Article 11 of the Constitution prohibits all forms of slavery, forced labour and child labour;


    • Article 17 provides for a fundamental right to exercise the freedom of association and the right to form unions;


    • Article 18 proscribes the right of its citizens to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation and to conduct any lawful trade or business;


    • Article 25 lays down the right to equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex alone;


  • Article 37(e) makes provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for maternity benefits for women in employment

The Labour Court adjudicates industrial disputes which have been referred to or brought before it; inquires into or adjudicates any matter relating to the implementation or violation of a settlement which is referred to it by the Provincial Government; tries offenses under the Industrial Relations Ordinance; and exercises and performs such other powers and functions conferred upon or assigned to it. For purposes of adjudicating and determining any industrial disputes, the Labour Court is deemed to be a Civil Court and retains the same powers as are vested in such Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908) including the enforcement of attendance and examination under oath, the production of documents and material objects, and the issuance of commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.

Any award or decision taken by the Labor Courts is subject to an appeal by the High Court which can modify or vary the award or decision.

Maryam Hayat

Author: Maryam Hayat

The writer is a Barrister working as an Associate for Kilam Law and is also a member of the Editorial Team at Courting the Law.