tirsdag 31. august 2021

Employers Can't Require People To Work 72 Hours A Week, China's High Court Says

Workers in China have earned a victory over employers' onerous work schedules, as the Supreme People's Court says a common schedule that requires people to work 12 hours a day for six days a week is illegal. In recent years, several worker deaths have been linked to such schedules, which are common in the tech industry and in other sectors, such as logistics.

One case highlighted in the high court's recent decision revolves around a man named Zhang. He was hired by a courier company last summer, working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week — the schedule that has become notorious under the shorthand "996" label. Under Chinese law, monthly overtime totals are essentially limited to 36 hours. Zhang refused to work illegal amounts of overtime — as dictated by his schedule — and was fired. The courier company said Zhang failed to fulfill the requirements of his probation period. But he disagreed, and an arbitration panel ordered his former employer to pay him a month's salary of 8,000 yuan (about $1,237).