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Make hot weather grant mandatory

China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-10 08:10

The spate of high temperatures in recent days has sparked a heated public debate on giving special allowance to workers for working in exceptionally hot weather. Surveys show that apart from employees who do not dare to ask their employers for the allowance, there are many who do not even know about the welfare provision, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

It is surprising that a special allowance which local governments and the media keep talking about is ignored by employers, even though the allowance for outdoor workers is quite small: a daily extra pay of 20-30 yuan ($3.3-4.9) each in most regions.

The allowance for working in exceptionally hot weather belongs to the same category of workers' welfare as annual leave. Employers have taken advantage of the loopholes in relevant laws and regulations to ensure that even if they don't pay the special allowance to workers they can escape punishment. Therefore, it is important for the authorities to take steps to plug those loopholes.

Although the regulations prescribe certain punishments for employers defaulting on the allowance, the enforcement is weak. Labor unions should shoulder their responsibility of protecting workers' rights and interests, and ensure that they are not deprived of their lawful allowance.

The problem is that many workers who work outdoors are not attached to any union and, hence, the protection of their legal rights and interests depends on higher-level labor unions. Besides, organizations such as construction workers' association should be set up across the country to fight for the rights of disadvantaged groups of workers.

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