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Some have it easy at work

Updated: 2013-12-20 09:04
( China Daily)

A Tsinghua University professor's remark on a TV program that Chinese people will have one day off for every two working days may sound unbelievable, but it is correct going by the existing regulations. We have to concede, though, that the remark is based on theoretical calculation rather than practice, says an article in Yangcheng Evening News. Excerpts:

A recent survey shows that Chinese workers are the most diligent in the world; on average they work 44.6 hours a week compared with the national standard of 40 hours. This means Chinese employees work 5.5 days a week and get a break of 1.5 days.

Considering the obvious difference in the working hours in different professions, the work-rest ratio is much worse than what the survey reveals. According to a 2011 report on migrant workers' working condition, migrant workers on average worked 8.8 hours a day, 25.4 days a month, which technically means they got only two days off in a month.

In sharp contrast is the group of civil servants. Media reports show that civil servants at the local level work less than 8 hours a day. In fact, in some local government departments, officials have to work only 7 or even 6.5 hours a day. And given that the regulation on paid leave is best implemented in government departments, civil servants may be getting more days off than what the Tsinghua professor said.

The difference between working and off days is not only one of theory and practice (or ideal and real situations), but also one of disparity in the welfare of different working groups. To bridge this gap, the government has to establish a foolproof security system, which includes paid leave and 8-hour working day, through reform measures, and implement rules to guarantee that employees across all sectors get equal rights when it comes to working and off days.

(China Daily 12/20/2013 page9)