Applicability objectives and important definitions of standing orders (S.O) ordinance 1968

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Q-1:     Describe the applicability objectives & important definitions of standing orders (S.O) ordinance 1968.


The object of .this law is to regulate through regulations, terms and conditions of service of workmen employed in commercial and industrial establishments in such as way that the terms and conditions between employers and workmen may be regarded better than the terms and conditions given in this law- In a way it means that the employers are restrained from offering terms and conditions which may be inferior in any way to the terms and conditions contained in this law which are termed as Standing Orders

This law is only applicable to such commercial and industrial establishment in which 20 or more workers are employed. It has also been left open to the government to declare any other establishment to be governed by this law by means of a notification in the official Gazette. This Ordinance will not apply to commercial and industrial establishment run by the Central or Provincial Governments where statutory rules of service, conduct or discipline are applicable to the workmen employed in them. Besides this, it has also been given in it that provisions of Standing Orders 10B and 11 Clauses (b) & (8) of Standing Order 12 and Standing Order 15 will have no application in the first instance to any industrial establishment wherein more than 49 persons are not employed, that is, it will apply only to those industrial establishment, where the workmen employed are 50 or more in number. This is open for type Government to extend the application of these Standing Orders to such other establishment, which it regards necessary but this can only be done by means of a notification in the official Gazette.


The Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance. 1968 is applicable:

(a)        Only to such industrial and commercial establishment in which twenty or more workmen are employed or were employed on any one day during preceding 12 months.

(b)        Such other industrial and commercial establishments as may be declared by the Government to be governed by this law.

The applicability of the Ordinance depends upon the number of workers employed on any one day even for emergency or temporary phase.

Conversely, this Ordinance does not apply to an organization, which is neither an industrial concern nor employer, nor a commercial establishment. Again this Ordinance does not apply to any iiidustrial and commercial establishments run by Federal or Provincial Governments where statutory rules of service, conduct and discipline, are applicable to the workmen employed in them.

It has been provided that the provisions of Standing Orders 10B, 11, 12 (6), 12(8) and i5, as listed below shall not apply in the first instance to any industrial establishments wherein more than 49 workmen are not employed, on any day during the preceding 12 months.


The list of commercial establishment which are governed by this Ordinance is given below:

(i) Advertising firms                             (ii) Commission or forwarding agents

(iii) Commercial agencies                   (iv) Clerical department or a factory

(v) Establishment of contractors        (vi) Unit of a joint stock company

(vii) Insurance companies                  (viii) Banking companies or a bank.

(ix) Broker’s office or Stock Exchange           (x) Clubs

(xi) Hotels                                            (xii) Restaurants

(xiii) Bathing house                             (xiv) Cinema    (xv) Theatres


The list of industrial establishment to which this Ordinances is applicable is given below:

(i)         Tramway or motor omnibus service (ii) Dock, wharf or get

(iii)       Inland steam vessel                            (iv) Mine, quarry or oil field                  (v)Plantation

(vi)       Workshop or other establishment in which articles are produced, adapted or manufactured for use, transport or sale

(vii)      Factories

(viii)      Establishment of a contractor who employees workmen directly or indirectly

(ix)       Construction industry


In the above commercial and industrial establishments the Ordinance is only applicable in the case of workmen who do not hold managerial or supervisory posts.

The following Standing Orders do not; however, apply to establishment employing less than 50 workmen:

(a)        Compulsory group insurance                                     S.O.IO-B

(b)        Stoppage of work and lay-off                                      S.O.I 1

(c)        Punishment and procedure for dismissal,

Disciplinary action, misconduct, fines, etc.                S.O.I5

(d)        Lay-Off                                                                                   S.O.!2(6)

(e)        Gratuity                                                                       S.O.I 2 (8)

Thus the Ordinance will apply to those industrial establishments, where the workmen employed are 50 or more in number. The Government can, however, extend the application of these Standing Orders to such other establishments, which it regards, necessary.



The aims and objectives of industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968 are as under:

  1. Regulate the relationship of the employer and employee.
  2. Provide for service conditions, in general for workmen.
  3. Provide amenities and benefits to workers,
  4. Regulate terms and conditions of service of workmen employed in commercial and industrial establishments.
  5. Restrain the employer from offering terms and conditions, which may be inferior to those contained in Standing Order.
  6. Employer offering inferior terms and conditions to suffer penalty and prosecution.
  7. Stop arbitrary and unjustified retrenchment and termination of employment.
  8. Regulate the punishment, which can be awarded by the employer.



Collective Agreement

According to Section 2(a) of the Standing Orders collective agreement means an agreement in writing, intended to specify the conditions of employment, entered into between one or more employers on the one hand, and one or more trade unions or, where there is no trade union, the duly authorized representatives of workmen, on the other hand.


Commercial Establishment

Commercial establishment means a body of persons organized for a set purpose or work. Under Section 2(b) of the Standing Orders, commercial establishment covers only such classes of establishments as are specified or may subsequently be specified. Presently the following types of organizations have been specified:

(a)        Establishments carrying on business of advertising, commission or forwarding

(b)        Commercial agency

(c)        Clerical department of a factory, industrial or commercial undertaking

(d)        Establishment of a contractor

(e)        Unit of Joint Stock Company

(f)         Insurance company, bank, broker, stock exchange, clerk, hotel, restaurant, eating house, cinema, theatre.


Construction Industry

Construction industry means an industry engaged in the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, alternation, or demolition of any building, railways, tramways, harbour, canal, etc, or other work of construction as well as preparation for laying the foundation of any such work or structure.


Employer [Section 2(c)]

Employer in respect of any industrial or commercial establishment means and includes the following:

(a)        Owner of organization

(b)        Manager of a factory

(c)        Authority or head of the department appointed by Federal or Provincial Government in any industrial unit.

(d)        Any person responsible to the owner for supervision and control of industrial or commercial establishment.



Go-slow means an organized, deliberate and purposeful slowing down of normal output of work by workers in a concerted manner, in other words Go-slow is the intentional slow down of normal output of the work in order to put the owner to a loss. There are four features of go-slow:

(a)        It, must be organized

(b)        It must be deliberate

(c)        It must be in a concerted manner

(d)        It must be purposeful slowing down of normal output

But slowing down in consequence of breakdown, failure of machinery, power supply, shortage of raw materials or spare parts is not go-slow. Likewise, inefficient, dilatory, careless or wasteful working does not amount to go-slow.


Industrial Establishment

An industrial establishment means:

(a)        An industrial establishment as defined in the Payment of Wages Act,

(b)        A factory as defined in Factories Act,

(c)        A railway as defined in Railways Act,

(d)        An establishment of a contractor,

(e)        Any premises where any process connected with the execution of contracts is carried on,

(f)         Establishment of a construction industry.


Examples of industrial Establishment are:

(1)        Construction industry              (2)        Dock, wharf or jetty

(3)        Factories                                 (4)        Mine, quarry or oil field

(5)       Plantation                                (6)        Railways

(7)        Tramways                               (8)        Workshops

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