Annual Leave and Working on Holidays

Do you know how much annual leave you are getting in your job? Know more about annual leave and working on holidays policy in Pakistan at
What is annual leave? How I become eligible for it?

It is paid leave (also called paid time off or holiday leave) granted to the employees in which an employee is free to do whatever he/she wants to do for some days. According to law, every worker (except for temporary and contract worker…please see details in the next question) who has completed 12 months of continuous service has the right to be granted a fourteen (14) consecutive days’ leave in the subsequent period of 12 months. It is inclusive of weekly holidays that may occur during your leave term. The law prescribes the minimum duration of leave for workers. Your contract or collective agreement may have provision for greater number of paid leave days. These provisions are applicable to the persons employed under Factories Act and Shops and Establishments Ordinance/Act.

What factors lead to ineligibility for this annual paid leave?

The annual leave entitlement of a worker is affected in the following cases:

  1. Sickness, accident or authorized leave exceeding 90 days;
  2.  Unauthorized leave (even for one day); 
  3. Participation in an illegal strike (even for one day); 
  4. Leaving employment before making an application for leave; and 
  5. Intermittent periods of involuntary unemployment exceeding 30 days in total

What is the admissible number of holiday leave days under different labour laws?

As explained above, the minimum leave entitlement is a 14 consecutive days as determined under the under Factories Act and Shops and Establishments Ordinance. 

If you are a mineworker, your annual leave is authorized under the Mines Act. This Act provides for one day of leave for every seventeen days of work below ground during previous 12 months and one day of leave for every 20 days of work above ground during the previous 12 months. In any case, a mineworker has more than fourteen days of holiday leave with full wages. This leave can also be cumulated however the Act restricts this accumulation to only 20 days. You also don’t need to take this leave as a whole and you can take it in parts, as provided under this Act.

This Newspaper Employees Act does not specifically fix the days of leave however it provides that the earned leave should not be less than 1/11th of time spent on duty. You may also keep in mind that weekly holidays, public holidays and authorized leave count as duty.

If you are road transport worker, you are also eligible for at least 14 days leave with full wages if you have completed one year of continuous service. Under this Act, you are also eligible for at least 7 days paid leave on completion of six months’ continuous service.


Earned Annual Leave

Factories Act, 1934 (Applicable in Balochistan, ICT and Punjab)

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Factories Act, 2013

Sindh Factories Act, 2015


14 consecutive days’ leave

Shops and Establishments Ordinance, 1969 (Applicable in Balochistan, ICT and Punjab)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shops and Establishments Act, 2015

Sindh Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 2015


14 consecutive days’ leave

Mines Act, 1923 (Applicable in Pakistan)

  • One day of leave for every seventeen days of work below ground
  • One day of leave for every 20 days of work above ground

Newspaper Employees Act, 1973 (Applicable in Pakistan)

At least 1/11th of time spent on duty

Road Transport Workers Ordinance, 1961 (Applicable in Pakistan)

At least 14 days leave with full pay

I am a temporary/contract worker. Am I eligible for annual leave?

Firstly, if you are a contract worker working on piece rate basis, you are not eligible for any kind of leave. You are entitled to weekly and public holidays but without pay. By same token, you are not eligible for annual leave. 

On the other hand, if you are a temporary worker, which means that you are employed for a fixed term of 9 months, you are not eligible for annual leave as it accrues only if you have worked continuously for 12 months. And by terms of your contract and definition of temporary worker in the law, you can’t be working in an organization continuously for the last 12 months. Other than annual paid vacations, you are eligible for pro-rated casual, sick and other weekly and public holidays with pay.

As regards part-time workers’ paid leave entitlement, the issue is not covered under the employment law in Pakistan. However, the annual leave policy by the employer may regulate such issues. 

Is the holiday leave compulsory or can be accumulated?

The annual leave per year entitlement is 14 days. If a worker is unable to take holiday leave during the year, law allows its accumulation and carrying it forward.  However, total number of holidays that can be carried forward can’t be greater than 14 days. It means that in total, you can have 28 days or at most 30 days’ annual leave.

You can receive payment in lieu of the annual leave i.e. you can also encash this leave while being in service. (Shops and Establishments Ordinance) 

If you are discharged by your employer before you could avail your annual leave or you quit the employment (after refusal from the employer to grant you leave), your employer is liable to pay you an amount payable for those holidays.

Timing of leave is determined by annual leave policy of the employer and in consultation between the parties. 

What is my holiday pay entitlement? Do I get my full pay?

Yes, you get your full wages. You will be paid, during the holidays, at your average daily rate of wages for each day of vacation/annual leave. The average is taken of the wages earned by the worker during the three months preceding the leave or holidays.

Under the Factories Act, your employer is also required to give half of the pay (due for these annual holidays) before the start of annual holidays. You can file complaint to the labor authorities if your employer does not meet his legal obligations and a labor inspector can help you recover your dues from the employer. Under the Shops and Establishments Act/Ordinance, a worker who is granted annual leave for a period of at least four days, in the case of an adult (19 years and above) and five days in the case of a young person (15-18 years), must be paid his wages for the leave period before the beginning of leave.

Can my employer require me to work on weekends and national holidays? Would I be paid normal or overtime pay?

Your employer can require you to work on weekly holidays. However, he has to give you a holiday 3 days before or after the weekly holiday. Moreover, you can’t be made to work for more than 10 consecutive days without being granted a holiday for one full day.

If you worked on a weekly holiday, your employer will give you a compensatory holiday as soon as possible, but before passing of 10 days. You will be paid your normal rate of pay, if you are required to work on weekends.

If your employer requires you to work on national/public/festival holidays, you must be given a compensatory holiday with full pay and a substitute holiday for working on public holiday. This means that rate of pay for working on public holidays is 300 times the rate of normal pay, which is greater than the overtime rate of pay.

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