Government includes PIA in ‘Essential Services Act of Pakistan’ for six months

A PIA plane landing at an airport. —AFP
  • The government is notifying the implementation of the law because it believes that the PIA is “essential to maintaining the smooth functioning of flight operations”.
  • The implementation of the law was notified to PIA employees via an administrative order issued on April 22.
  • Three offenses committed by an employee can lead him to be liable to a prison sentence of at least one year.

KARACHI: The Federal Government has extended for six months the inclusion of PIA in the “Essential Services (Maintenance) Act of Pakistan” of 1952.

The government notified the implementation of the law because it believes that PIA is “essential for the maintenance of the smooth functioning of flight operations” of the national carrier.

The implementation of the law was also notified to PIA employees by the national carrier’s Main Office of Human Resources via an administrative order issued on April 22.

Interestingly, the orders have been extended despite the implementation of the Industrial Relations Act 2012.

Under the terms of the administrative order, three offenses committed by an employee will result in them being liable to “imprisonment of up to one year and will also be liable to a fine”.

The offenses covered by the law are as follows:

  • [Any employee] Disobeys any lawful order given in the course of such employment or attempts to persuade any person to disobey such order, or
  • Without reasonable excuse, abandons such employment or is absent from work or refuses to work or to continue to work, whether or not acting in combination with or under a common agreement with any other person engaged in such employment, or
  • Departs from any area specified in an order under subsection (1) of section 4 without the consent of the authority making that order.
  • Is deemed to have committed this offence.

The administrative order advised PIA employees to “refrain from engaging in any activity that may amount to an offence” under the law. He warned that failure to comply with the notice could lead to an employee becoming “liable to action” in court.

Michelle J. Kelley