Terms of Reference for National Consultant to develop
Gaps Analysis Study
Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183)
Pakistan has ratified 36 ILO Conventions including all eight fundamental Conventions, two out of four Governance Conventions and 26 Technical Conventions. Last Convention was ratified in 2006.
In its meeting in March 2020, the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan reviewed 39 ILO Instruments that were put up for necessary consideration and action, and decided to ratify four (4) new ILO Conventions – including the ‘Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183)’. Subsequently, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistani and HRD thru its letter No. 4-27/2015-ILO-I, dated: 15th April 2020, requested ILO for technical support in undertaking ‘Gaps Analysis’ before a formal decision to ratify the Convention.
Maternity Protection Convention – A brief introduction
Raising a family is a cherished goal for many working people. Yet pregnancy and maternity are especially vulnerable times for working women and their families. Expectant and nursing mothers require special protection to prevent harm to their or their infants' health, and they need adequate time to give birth, to recover, and to nurse their children. At the same time, they also require protection to ensure that they will not lose their job simply because of pregnancy or maternity leave and protection. Such protection not only ensures a woman's equal access to employment, it also ensures the continuation of often vital income which is necessary for the well-being of her entire family.
Maternity protection is a fundamental right and an area of major concern for the ILO since its foundation in 1919, when the first international convention on the subject was adopted. It is also a key component of the transformative policies called for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing to the achievement of SDGs 1 (No poverty), 3 (Good health and well-being), 5 (Gender equality), 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and 10 (Reduced inequalities).
Safeguarding the health of expectant and nursing mothers, protecting them from discrimination in employment and ensuring income continuation or replacement during periods of leave is a precondition for achieving genuine equality of opportunity and treatment for men and women in the world of work and enabling workers to raise families in security, health and well-being. These objectives are encompassed in Convention No. 183, which seeks to ensure that all employed women, including women employed in atypical forms of dependent work, are adequately protected during maternity. For this purpose, it sets out the right to: maternity leave; cash benefits to ensure the mother can support herself and her child during leave; medical care; protection of the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women and their children from workplace risks; protection from dismissal and discrimination; and breastfeeding on return to work.
Maternity Protection Situation of Pakistan
In Pakistan, female employees are entitled to a maximum of twelve weeks (or 3 months) of maternity leave with full pay. The six-week post-natal leave is compulsory (Section 4 of West Pakistan Maternity Benefit Ordinance, 1958). The maternity leave in public sector is also 90 days (3 months) and during this time, wages are paid in full. Employment of women is prohibited during six weeks following the delivery of child (section 3 of West Pakistan Maternity Benefit Ordinance, 1958). There are gender neutral provisions in many laws to ensure safety of workers however none of these specifically mentions that pregnant and breast-feeding women enjoy special protection and are not made to do any harmful work.
The main legislations and policies dealing with maternity protection in Pakistan include:
In a recent development, on 27th January 2020, the Senate of Pakistan adopted a Bill for Maternity and Paternity leave. According to the bill, women will get paid maternity leave of: 180 days (six months) on first birth; 120 days (four months) on second birth; and 90 days (three months) on third birth. According to the bill, men will get paid paternity leave of 30 days (one month), a total of three times during service – to be paid by Employers. This Bill is subject to further debate in lower house (National Assembly) before sending to the President for assent.
Gaps Analysis – Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183)
ILO intends to engage a Consultant (Legal Researcher) to undertake a Gaps Analysis by reviewing existing legislative and policy frameworks, institutional mechanisms and practices and getting inputs from all important stakeholders – to see where Pakistan stands in terms of the current situation in reference to the Convention No. 183 on Maternity Protection.
The Consultant will be required to have a detailed review of existing legislations related to Labour, Industrial Relations, Wages and Rights and look at various institutional arrangements to understand, to what extent the national situation, in terms of laws, regulations, policies, mechanisms and practices, is in line with C183. The Consultant will also consult tripartite partners (government, employers’ and workers’ organizations) (particularly women workers in formal and informal economy, etc); existing institutions, and other stakeholders (e.g., Academia, Civil Society Organizations, etc) and identify gaps as well as key areas to be improved. The Consultant will be required to review/examine:
Terms of Reference for Technical Consultant
Under the overall supervision of the relevant ILO Technical Specialists and in close consultation with the Programme Officer in ILO-Islamabad, the Consultant will be required to undertake following assignments:
The Consultant is required to provide number of workdays to complete this assignment.
Consultant will be required to deliver the following:
Required Qualification and Experience
The Consultant should have the following qualification and experience:
How to submit:
Interested individuals are requested to submit the Expressions of Interest, along with following supporting documents (duly dated and signed) through email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, cc: email@example.com by Thursday, 2nd July 2020.
Any offer received after the official closing time and date will not be accepted.
Questions and replies:
Should you have any questions, please contact us at the latest by date only by email (firstname.lastname@example.org; cc email@example.com) quoting the RFQ reference.
The Consultant will undertake the study, and produce a report (electronic and print, English) that will contain the following parts:
A brief overview of the situation of maternity protection for workers in the country, highlighting trends and issues
Presentation of the relevant labour, employment and social security laws, regulations, collective agreements and other measures regarding workers in general and women workers in particular, and assessment of these legal provisions and measures as regards to their implementation of the provisions of Convention 183 and corresponding Recommendation. The report should structure Part II into thematic chapters along the subject matters addressed in these instruments – summarized in a table as given below.
(See Table on: https://www.ilo.org/islamabad/aboutus/WCMS_748994/lang-en/index.htm )
Each thematic chapter will present relevant national law, regulations or other measures, as well as relevant national institutions; identify gaps vis-a-vis C.183, if any, and discuss possible ways of addressing these gaps.
A summary of areas of conformity, gaps between national laws and regulations, collective agreements and other measures, and C183, as well as issues and areas for improvement, for example in the matter of compliance or enforcement; and a set of recommendations for feasible actions, which go beyond compliance with minimum requirements, in the medium and longer-term, as a basis for drafting a plan of action. Add a small section on observations regarding relevant issues raised in the draft revised labour law and labour law.
The Consultant will deliver two presentations to constituents (electronic and print):
The draft report will be reviewed by Ministry of OP&HRD, ILO Islamabad and ILO INWORK (Geneva). The Consultant will produce a final report on the basis of comments provided by ILO on the draft report and results of a tripartite validation meeting on the draft report.
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