May 10th, 2012 | Global Times New draft aims to balance workers’ rights with enterprises’ interests
A new draft targeting regulations on working extra hours and the balance between workers’ rights and enterprises’ development in the country was released Wednesday, for which public opinion will be solicited until June 8.
The draft detailed that employees should work no more than 11 hours every day, and for professions requiring flexible work hours, companies should ensure that their annual salary is above the local average level.
Employees should have more than 20 minutes’ break, which is counted into working hours if they have worked more than four hours in the day, according to the draft. Employees who work between 10 pm and 6 am next morning should have compensations paid by employers.
“This is a timely draft that will deal with tense labor relations in the manufacturing and service industries, where workers often suffer tougher working environments and longer hours,” Lin Xinqi, director of the Human Resources Department of the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.
A survey conducted by Peking University released last week shows that Chinese people worked 8.66 hours a day including 0.28 hours at home. This result revealed harder working conditions than those outlined by the United Nations, 20 minutes more than the average time of dozens of other countries.
Lin said the draft targets small- and medium-sized enterprises, because State-owned or large companies already have systems in place to make sure that employees’ rights are well protected, and the launch of the new regulation will help to reduce abuse of workers in some places.
“We don’t expect to see workers’ rights being well protected with only this draft. The government should also strengthen punishment and supervision of companies since it’s very hard to make sure all the small companies follow new regulations,” Lin said.
By Liu Linlin