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'New law' focuses on work permits

[ 2012-08-13 11:06] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Courts will not protect welfare or other labor rights of foreigners working without a work permit, even workers under contract, if a draft law is passed.

Foreigners without a work permit or an expert certificate - a license issued by the government to some foreign workers with proven talent and expertise in their field - could lose the cover of the "labor relationship" with the employer in the courts, even if they are under contract.

The "labor relationship", a legal term, covers labor rights including social insurance, healthcare and compensation for work injury.

The draft, which the Supreme People's Court submitted to judges, professionals and the general public for feedback last month, has split opinion on whether stricter enforcement of the work-permit requirement will actually protect foreign workers from negligent employers trying to cut corners.

China Daily's request for a more detailed explanation was declined by the top court, since "the stipulation has not been passed and may undergo changes", it said.

Liu Deheng, deputy chief of the labor dispute tribunal at Beijing's Chaoyang district court, said the draft is meant to standardize judicial rulings regarding foreigners who come to China without a work visa but find work.

A work visa, under China's laws, is a premise to apply for a work permit.

Chinese law stipulates that labor disputes have to go through arbitration before a lawsuit can be filed. This tends to add a considerable amount of time to the procedure.

There has been a marked increase in labor disputes, Liu said.

The labor dispute arbitration committee in Chaoyang received 14 cases from October 2010 to October 2011. The number surged to 75 from October 2011 to July this year.

"More foreigners are turning to the law to protect their labor rights. It shows that the law is working and that they are willing to live in China for a considerable time, otherwise, the lawsuit-after-arbitration procedure is not cost effective," she said.

"Requiring foreigners to obtain a work permit is compulsory and it offers legal guarantees."

WangWenjie, who works in the human resources department at a Shanghai company, said the policy will probably affect foreigners working in small-scale companies as larger companies will have the resources to do the paperwork.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

'New law' focuses on work permits

About the broadcaster:

'New law' focuses on work permits

CJ Henderson is a foreign expert for China Daily's online culture department. CJ is a graduate of the University of Sydney where she completed a Bachelors degree in Media and Communications, Government and International Relations, and American Studies. CJ has four years of experience working across media platforms, including work for 21st Century Newspapers in Beijing, and a variety of media in Australia and the US.