Chinese lawmakers look to give workers more rest
The Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is trying to push increased regulations limiting the number of consecutive hours worked by laborers.Their goal is to force employers to allow workers to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes for each period of 4 hours on the clock.Further, they are looking to restrict non salaried employees from working in excess of 11 hours per day.
Critics say that these new policies are not only ineffective but that they will be impossible to enforce.In the first place, they claim most of the abuse is imposed on low level managers that are considered "salaried" employees thus insulating them from this limitation. Secondly, the major abusers of the current labor laws are the small private companies which operate under a shroud of secrecy.
Larger companies, within close proximity to major metro areas and serving international customers, tend to be more compliant to government regulations.But in remote areas of the country it is not uncommon for workers to be on the job for 12 or more hours.Many of these are allowed no more than a few days off per month. Government officials are optimistic in their hopes of getting this new legislation passed and enforced.They feel that the supply of workers has now surpassed the demand which will result in employers being forced to offer better working conditions in order to keep employees.