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China – Employers flouting new temporary employment law

23 July 2013

Despite recent amendments to the dispatch employment law, some temporary workers in China are still being paid less than half the wages of their permanent counterparts, according to fjsen.com. The new legislation was enacted on 1 July 2013. Its purpose was to make it more difficult for employers to hire temporary workers, known in China as ‘dispatch’ workers.

Article 63 of the new Labour Contract Law states that labourers have the right to equal pay. Employers shall, in accordance with the principle of equal pay, pay dispatch workers the same wages as those fulfilling the same work requirements as permanent employees.

A lack of clarity in the law is allowing employees to circumvent the new legislation. Legal definitions of ‘temporary’ and ‘alternative’ have yet to be fully established and therefore create loop-holes for employers to exploit.

The abuse of the labour dispatch system, which is only supposed to supply businesses with temporary, auxiliary, and substitute labour, is reported to be endemic in China. The introduction of the new legislation was intended to prevent this from continuing. Specific details of monitoring or legal repercussions for breaking the new law are, as of yet, not readily available. 

For more information regarding the Chinese staffing industry, please click here.  

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