Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has signed a State Council decree to roll out new regulations that will guarantee the payment of wages to rural migrant. These new regulations are estimated to take effect starting from 1 May 2020.
With Chinese New Year around the corner, Spring Festival holidays are often one of the very few times that hundreds of millions of Chinese migrant workers get to spend their time with their families. Some of these workers spend as may as 50 weeks away from home in a desperate bid to earn a decent living for their loved ones back home. Unfortunately, for many of these workers, the money they earned doesn’t come through.
Wage arrears continues to be a huge issue for the hard-working men and women of China. Migrant workers say they’re tired of all the excuses: a lack of enterprise funds, a faulty governance system, or responsible parties simply not coming through with their wages.
“Some bosses do not follow contracts. They have been two or three years in arrears with my salary,” said Zhang Junmeng, a migrant worker from Zhengzhou who currently works in Beijing.
An official statement from the State Council announced that the primary purpose of the new regulations is to eradicate these wage issues for rural migrant workers. Experts say that companies that violate these laws will be saddled with huge penalties.
“Those who default on (paying) wages for migrant workers will be ordered to fulfill their obligations within a certain grace period. Those who fail to pay within that grace period will have to pay an extra 50 to 100 percent of the amount. Those who are suspected of not paying remuneration for work will be investigated,” said Wang Zhenjiang, the director of the Third Bureau of Legislation at the Chinese Ministry of Justice.
“No project or work can be started without sufficient funds. Otherwise, the responsible party shall be investigated,” said Wang Cheng, the director of the Labour Security Supervision Bureau at the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.