Working Hours and Overtime Pay in Pakistan

Know more about labour laws of working hours and overtime pay in Pakistan. According to the law, your normal working hours per day are 8-9 hours and these should not be more than 48 hours per week. By including the lunch and prayer time in hours of work, working hours should not be greater than 9 hours a day.

What are the laws in Pakistan relating to working hours?

We have seven different set of laws that set the working hours, rest intervals and different types of holidays. These are:

Factories Legislation

  1. Factories Act 1934 (applicable in ICT and Balochistan);
  2. Factories Act 1934 (adapted for the Province of Punjab by the Factories (Amendment) Act 2012; 
  3. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Factories Act 2013; 
  4. The Sindh Factories Act 2016

Shops and Establishments Legislation

  1. The Shops and Establishments Ordinance 1969 (applicable in ICT and Balochistan);
  2. The Punjab Shops and Establishments Ordinance 1969 (amended in 2014;
  3. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shops and Establishments Act 2015; 
  4. The Sindh Shops and Commercial Establishment Act 2015

Standing Orders Legislation

  1. The Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Order) Ordinance 1968 (applicable in ICT and Balochistan);
  2. The Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Order) Ordinance 1968 (2012, applicable to Punjab); 
  3. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Order) Act 2013; 
  4. The Sindh Terms of Employment (Standing Orders) Act 2015

Other Legislation

  1. Mines Act 1923
  2. Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973
  3. Road Transport Workers Ordinance 1961
  4. Railways Act 1890

How will I know which of these laws is applicable to establishment I am working in?

The Factories Act is applicable mainly to the manufacturing processes and is applicable on any factory where ten or more people are working or were working on any day in the preceding 12 months. The Standing Orders Ordinance is applicable to the commercial or industrial establishments where 20 or more workers are employed or were employed during the last 12 months. The Shops and Establishments Ordinance is applicable to all establishments irrespective of the number of employees. So, if you are working in an establishment employing less than ten workers, this Ordinance is applicable to your organization.

The Mines Act is applicable to any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been or is being carried on, and includes all works, machinery, tramways and sidings, whether above or below ground, in or adjacent to or belonging to a mine. However, you will not be covered under this act if you are engaged in the manufacturing process even on the same premises unless it is for coke making or the dressing of minerals.

The Newspaper Employees Act is applicable to any establishment for the production, printing or publication of one or more newspapers or for conducting any news agency or syndicate. Road Transport Workers Ordinance is applicable to any service for carrying passengers or goods or both by road in vehicles for hire or reward. Railways Act is applicable to all persons employed in railway whether they are intermittent or regular employees.






Type of Establishment

Minimum Number of Employees

Factories Act, 1934                             (Punjab:2012; KPK:2013; Sindh : 2016)

Factory/manufacturing process

10 or more employees

The Shops and Establishments Ordinance, 1969 (ICT, Balochistan (Punjab:2014; KPK:2015; Sindh: 2015)

All types of establishments

No minimum number

Standing Order Ordinance, 1968        (ICT,Balochistan)                                          (Punjab:2012; KPK:2013; Sindh: 2015)

Commercial or industrial               establishments

20 or more employees

10 or more employees in KP and Sindh

Mines Act, 1923

All types of mines

 No minimum number

Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1973

Establishment for production,              printing or publication of one or more newspapers

 No minimum number

Road Transport Workers Ordinance, 1961

Any service for carrying passengers or goods or both by road

 No minimum number

Railways Act, 1890


 No minimum number


What are the daily and weekly working hours? When does the overtime start and what is rate of overtime?

The normal daily working hours range between 8-9 hours with the condition that weekly working hours should not exceed 48 hours. After including lunch and prayer time breaks, total hours cannot exceed 10 hours.  Keeping in view the business needs, you may be required to work overtime. The daily spread over (time between entry into and exit from the premises) of working hours for adult workers will be 12 hours as shown below.

Spread Over



Normal working time

8 hours/day (on some days, it can be 9 hours)



Total Spread over of working hours can’t be greater than 12 hours a day

Lunch/prayer time

1 hour/day


2 hours/day (on some days, it may extend to three hours)



The maximum weekly overtime hours are 12 hours. Keeping that weekly limit, workers may work 2-3 hours overtime while considering the above spread over limits. The total yearly overtime work hours should also not exceed 624 hours. Moreover, you should also be aware that lunch breaks and rest intervals are unpaid time, so you will not be receiving any remuneration for this. You also need to know that if you are a young person (your age is greater than 14 but less than 17 years), you can be required to work 1.5 hours a day overtime but your total overtime hours in a year can’t exceed 468 hours. If you are a woman, you can work only up to 10:00 pm and this is only in the condition if the employer arranges transport for pick up and drop facility. Women workers are not allowed to work more than 9 hours in any day (this included lunch and rest).

If your employer does not arrange transport for you, your working hours must be between 06:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m. The same working hours count for adolescents. If you are a road transport service employee, you can’t be required to work for more than 8 hours in a day and 48 hours in a week. Moreover, after five hours of work, you are to be given at least half an hour break and if you are required to work for over seven hours, you must have availed at least two such half an hour intervals. On Friday, the working hours are reduced by 3 hours. 

Similarly, if you are mine worker (above or below ground), you can’t be required to work more than eight hours a day and forty-eight hours a week. The spread over for workers working above ground is 12 hours however for the workers below ground the spread over is fixed at 8 hours which also means that they can’t be required to work overtime. During the month of Ramazan, the working hours are reduced by two hours in all establishments. Notifications are also issued in this regard. 

Ramazan timings for offices working 5-day week 
Sr. No Days Timings
1. Monday to Thursday  08 am to 02 pm
2. Friday 08 am to 01 pm
Ramazan timings for offices working 6-day week 
Sr. No Days Timings
1. Monday to Thursday  08 am to 01 pm
2. Friday 08 am to 12 pm


What is the overtime pay and how I become eligible for it?

Every employee in a factory, except those employed solely in a clerical capacity in any room or place where no manufacturing process is being carried on (applicable in Balochistan, KPK, Punjab and ICT) or executive/managerial capacity (applicable in all provinces) is eligible for the overtime pay. If you work for more than 8 hours in a day or more than 48 hours in a week (while working in a non-seasonal factory), you are eligible for this extra/overtime pay. If you are working in a seasonal factory, you can't be eligible for overtime rate of pay unless you work for more than 50 hours in a week. The rate of overtime pay is double the ordinary rate of pay. You are under obligation to work overtime whenever (so, it is not voluntary) the employer requires you to do so. However, in case you can't perform overtime work you are supposed to offer sufficient causes/reasons regarding your inability to do so.

The same rules are applicable if you are employed under Mines Act or Newspaper Employees Act or Road Transport Workers Ordinance. However, if you are employed under Railways Act, and in case of exceptional pressure of work you will be paid overtime not lower than one and a quarter time (1.25) your ordinary rate of pay.

Overtime Rates under Different Laws


Overtime Rate

All employment laws (except Railways Act)

Double the rate of pay (2X)

Railways Act

One and a quarter time (1.25X)


How is overtime calculated? 

The first thing to remember is that your overtime is calculated on the basis of your ordinary pay or gross salary. Considering that you work in an organization other than Railways, your overtime rate is twice the rate of ordinary pay. Consider the following case.

Your monthly wage: PKR 20,000

Normal working hours: 8 hours/ day ( 48 hours a week)

Working days in a month: 26 days (one weekly holiday)

Total Overtime hours that you worked: 30 hours

Here is the formula:

Overtime formula 2019

Similarly, you can calculate your overtime payments by incorporating 1.25 in place of 2, if you are a railway worker.

Does the law provide for rest intervals?

Yes, your employer has to give you rest interval of an hour after every six hours of work or you can’t be compelled to work more than five hours before rest interval of at least half an hour. If your employer wants you to work more than eight and a half hours, you must be given at least two intervals each of half an hour.

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