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China – Labour protections are coming under fire

China’s labour protections are coming under fire from high places as Chinaeconomic restructuring pits officials concerned about social stability against a lobby arguing inflexible policies are stifling job creation and suppressing wages.

Company executives, especially at foreign or private firms, have long been critical of labour contract legislation and minimum wage laws that make it difficult for owners of an ailing business to turn it around or find willing buyers.

Now policymakers anxious to modernise China’s slowing economy and slash overcapacity in heavy industry are making similar noises.

The export powerhouse province of Guangdong, a trillion-dollar economy that often leads the way on market reforms, said on Tuesday it would scrap scheduled rises to the local minimum wage in 2016, and keep it at 2015 levels – slightly over 1,500 yuan (160 pounds) per month – through 2018.

On the same day, the official Xinhua media service highlighted comments by finance minister Lou Jiwei, who criticised China’s Labour Contract Law in a speech during the annual meeting of parliament.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at China’s labour law under fire as restructuring threatens jobs | Reuters

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