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Draft Law on Labor Contracts Made Public—Views Sought

China's top legislature made public on Monday the full text of the new draft law on labor in order to seek public opinion on the legislation which will affect almost every worker in the country. 

The seven chapter draft details the establishment, revision and termination of labor contracts. It is the country's first law governing labor contracts and was submitted to the top legislature for review last December.

In China a draft like this normally becomes takes affect after three rounds of deliberation by lawmakers sitting on the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

It's the second draft law to be made public in China in recent years. A draft on property rights sparked several rounds of discussion since being made public last July.

"By making the draft (labor law) public we hope that people will assist lawmakers draw up a statute which safeguards the rights of employees and builds a harmonious employment relationship," said Kan Ke, spokesman of the general office of the NPC Standing Committee.

The existing labor contract system, set up in accordance with the Labor Law enacted in 1994, requires updates to be given following the dramatic changes in the labor marketplace which came in the wake of China's rapid economic growth, an expert said.

It is said employees' rights and interests are frequently abused as their employers can terminate contracts without notice, keep back workers' wages, refuse to renew contracts and decline to pay interns.

For 30 days beginning Monday the public can express their views on the draft law to local legislative bodies or to the top legislature. They can also e-mail their views on the NPC's website at, Kan said.

Local legislative bodies were also ordered to seek opinions from local lawmakers and legal experts and report back to the top legislature by April 20, 2006, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2006)


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