Recently, as China’s daily temperature climbed to as much as 35 degrees in many areas, its 28 provinces began providing financial assistance, but, as Xinhua News Agency has found that, while there are detailed regulations for the subsidies, they’re not unified and don’t follow any standard, and some small and mid-sized enterprises are ignoring the rules.
Provinces also seem confused about the purpose and can have different names for the subsidy, with some using “high-temperature subsidy” and others “heatstroke prevention subsidy”. Some provinces tend to disagree about whether to combine the two subsidies and some, like Gui zhou or the Guangxi region have said no to it, while the city of Tian Jin and Shaanxi province have agreed but only conditionally.
In many areas, such as the city of Beijing and Shanxi province they are saying that employees can only get the subsidy when temperatures reach 35 degrees or 33 degrees indoors, while Shandong and Shaanxi provinces say that not only laborers but even office workers with an air conditioner qualify for a heatstroke prevention subsidy.
At the same time, some companies are just handing out cold drinks instead of a payment, or even worse, not giving employees the subsidy. And, even when many enterprises put the regulation into effect, some individual employees don’t get it, for example, Lu Min, a sales promoter of a cosmetics company in the city of Guangzhou, who says, “Unlike a State-owned enterprise, our small company doesn’t apply the regulation in a standard way. My only hope is for a monthly payment.”
In this respect, Cui Long, the manger of an advertising company in the city of Hefei, says, “As a small enterprise, we don’t separate the subsidy from the salary.”
We can say that, there are mainly three reasons for these company actions: First, many employees do not have a contract so their rights cannot be guaranteed. For example, construction work, which is contracted out by private employers who say that they’ve never heard of a high-temperature subsidy.
Or, some street cleaners above the age of 60, who cannot get the subsidy because they can only get a “labor service” contract, which does not qualify them, rather than “a labor” contract.
Second, there’s a problem with ambiguous regulations, for example, in the case of people who have to work both indoors and outdoors. And some people say government departments should make the decision, with some departments saying that workers can get the full subsidy. Others say that enterprise should decide for themselves.
Third, enterprises lack restraint, for example, when employees don’t want to appeal the decision even if they deserve the subsidy, or in the words of one street cleaner, “We can’t do anything about it and we can’t give up our job just because we don’t get the subsidy. And, why bother complaining if it’s just you?” They add that they do talk about it among themselves but it’s just talk, nothing else.