Chinese Scholars Identify 10 Shortcomings in Labor Law (story in Chinese)

October 20, 2004

According to an article appearing on the Ministry of Justice website, a discussion session commemorating the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Chinese Labor Law, and including representatives from the Ministry of Labor, government-sponsored unions, private enterprises, and scholars, resulted in numerous criticisms of the existing law. Specific criticisms of the Labor Law included: 1) Vesting excessive authority with local officials 2) Inadequate attention to collective-bargaining contracts 3) Excessively stiff requirements regarding enterprise downsizing 4) Inadequate compensation rules in case of layoffs 5) Excessively burdensome and complex procedural requirements for handling labor disputes. 6) Absence of rules regarding foreign employers 7) Lack of applicable labor regulations in case of merger or purchase 8) Absence of provisions regarding labor arbitration and supervision 9) Failure to pay sufficient attention to the rights of line workers, as opposed to professional and managerial staff. 10) Lack of attention to unique characteristics of individual industries and small to mid-sized employers. Other issues appear to have been unaddressed, such as the inability of Chinese workers to independently organize in light of the status of the All-China Trade Union Federation as the only legally authorized union.