torsdag 2. september 2021

China steps in to regulate brutal '996' work culture

Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma famously said it was a "blessing" for anyone to be part of the so-called "996 work culture"- where people work 9am to 9pm, six days a week. Now, China's authorities have issued a stern reminder to companies that such punishing work schedules are in fact, illegal. In a joint statement published last Thursday, China's top court and labour ministry detailed 10 court decisions related to labour disputes, many involving workers being forced to work overtime.

The cases covered various scenarios across a wide range of sectors, from tech to the media and construction.  The one thing they had in common? The employers had lost. "Legally, workers have the right to corresponding compensation and rest times or holidays. Complying with national working hours is the obligation of employers," the notice warned, adding that further guidelines will be developed to resolve future labour disputes.

But will China's clearest warning yet pave the way for real change for some of its overworked citizens?