While Article 18 of the Constitution affords every citizen with the right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation, and to conduct any lawful trade or business, the Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance was enacted in 1968 to address the relationship between employer and employee and the contract of employment. The Ordinance applies to all industrial and commercial establishments throughout the country employing 20 or more workers and provides for security of employment. In the case of workers in other establishments, domestic servants, farm workers or casual labour engaged by contractors, their labour contracts are generally unwritten and can be enforced through the courts on the basis of oral evidence or past practice.
Every employer in an industrial or commercial establishment is required to issue a formal appointment letter at the time of employment of each worker. The obligatory contents of each labour contract, if written, are confined to the main terms and conditions of employment, namely nature and tenure of appointment, pay allowances and other fringe benefits admissible, terms and conditions of appointment.