Under the Factories Act, 1934 no adult employee, defined as a worker who has completed his or her 18th year of age, can be required or permitted to work in any establishment in excess of nine hours a day and 48 hours a week. Similarly, no young person, under the age of 18, can be required or permitted to work in excess of seven hours a day and 42 hours a week. The Factories Act, which governs the conditions of work of industrial labour, applies to factories, employing ten or more workers. The Provincial Governments are further empowered to extend the provisions of the Act, to even five workers.
Where the factory is a seasonal one, an adult worker shall work no more than fifty hours in any week and no more than ten hours in any day. A seasonal factory, per section 4 of the Factories Act is that which is exclusively engaged in one or more of the following manufacturing processes, namely, cotton ginning, cotton or cotton jute pressing, the manufacture of coffee, indigo, rubber, sugar or tea. However, if such adult worker in a factory is engaged in work, which for technical reasons must be continuous throughout the day, the adult worker may work no more than fifty-six hours in any week.
Section 8 of the West Pakistan Shops and Establishments Ordinance, 1969 likewise, restricts weekly work hours at 48 hours. The Shops and Establishments Ordinance regulates persons employed in shops and commercial establishments, who are neither covered by the Factories Act nor by the Mines Act. The Ordinance is exclusive in the whole of Pakistan except for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Section 22-B of the Mines Act, 1923 also fixes weekly hours of work for workers at 48 hours or 8 hours each day, with the limitation of spread-over 12 hours and interval for rest for one hour every six hours. Section 22-C further limits the spread-over to 8 hours for work done below ground level.
In factories, the periods and hours of work for all classes of workers in each shift must be notified and posted in a prominent place in the principal language in the industrial or commercial establishment. The law further provides that no worker shall be required to work continuously for more than six hours, unless he or she has had an interval for rest or meals of at least one hour.
During Ramadan (fasting month), special reduced working hours are observed in manufacturing, commercial and service organizations.