Of the 3.5 billion global labour force, nearly a billion is Muslim. And most of these one billion workers are living and working in OIC countries, the 57-member block of Muslim countries. While Constitutions in these countries do refer to Islam and Islamic principles, the state of labour rights, even de jure, is dismal. This is particularly worrying as labour law is the only field of law that encompasses the entire spectrum of life, from birth (e.g. maternity and paternity leave for parents) to demise (funeral grants and survivors’ benefits).
Islamic Labour Code is a prototype and a work in progress, based on the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. The proposed Islamic Labour Code provides insights into Islam’s view on equal treatment of workers, irrespective of sex, religion, and race, etc.; prohibition of sexual harassment; right to unionization and collective bargaining; the abolition of child and bonded labour; occupational safety and health; and the right to social security.
At a time when the Scriptures and the Prophetic traditions are frequently being misquoted to deprive people of their rights, this work aims to set the record straight. It shows that the Quran and Sunnah protect and promote labour rights.
The current pandemic has proven to be a catalyst, and a big global reset is evident in every aspect of life & society. Labour laws in Muslim countries desperately warrant an overhaul too. We hope this work can provide the basis to Governments in Muslim countries, organizations and individuals for a reset of their labour rights practices and beliefs, aligning them with the spirit of Shariah.
We draw on our collective experience of the last 15 years in comparative labour law and human resources to compile this work and earnestly hope that it will be used not only by governments to reform their laws but also by progressive enterprises to give workers their due rights in the light of Islamic teachings. The ultimate aim, however, is to raise awareness on Islamic injunctions regarding the subject. While rooted in Islamic teachings, the work does not claim any religious sanctification and is well aware of its limitations.