Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed Punjab Workers Welfare Board (PWWB) to grant maternity leave to a female teacher, Sobia Nazir who was previously refused maternity leave.
While hearing the petition, Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabbir said, “Article 35 of the Constitution provides that the state shall protect the marriage, the family, the mother, and the child.”
The petitioner, Sobia Nazir was hired for the position of senior Information Technology (IT) teacher on an internship/retainer basis at PWWB school, Worker Welfare School (Girls). The school is located in the Warbton, Nankana Sahib district. When she got pregnant, she applied for maternity leave with a full salary for 90 days. However, the board of PWWB rejected her application because she was not entitled to receive maternity leave on her current job contract’s terms and conditions.
Justice Shabbir said in the verdict that under Article 25 of the Pakistan Constitution, all citizens are equal before the law and they are entitled to receive equal protection from the law. There should be no discrimination on the basis of gender.
The judge also discussed Article 37 which directed the State to provide humane work conditions and ensure that women and children should not be employed in those jobs which are not suitable for their age or sex, and also make provisions for maternity benefits for women in employment.
The judge added, “Obviously the law does not compel any person to perform an act which is beyond his/her capacity and the same principle is also recognised by Islam.”
Leave a Reply