BEIJING - Employers who default on wage payments could face criminal charges under a draft amendment to China's Criminal Law.
The draft amendment was submitted Monday to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, for its first reading.
The proposed amendment aims to protect workers' rights to payment following frequent reports of workers being beaten up when asking their employers for unpaid salaries.
It would impose penalties of up to seven years in prison plus fines on those who could afford to pay, but failed to do so.
"It is an effective way to prevent such acts and crack down on them by listing them as crimes," said an official with the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee.
However, some experts voiced concerns that it might sometimes be difficult to distinguish an "intentional" default from an inability to pay.