SW China launches inspection on overtime work, takes ‘zero tolerance’ on violators
Published: Nov 24, 2021 10:15 AM
An employee is working overtime. Photo: VCG

An employee working overtime. Photo: VCG

Southwest China's Sichuan Province has been conducting a week-long special inspection on overtime work and vowed to take "zero tolerance" toward employers who violate related labor laws and regulations.

Recently, a heated debate over the "996'' working culture led to it being banned for violating the law. 996 means employees have to work from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.

Sichuan Province has conducted the inspection starting from Monday, and will order violators to rectify within a time limit. For those who severely violated the regulations, a maximum penalty will be carried out and the violating cases will be open to the public with "zero tolerance," according to the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Sichuan on Monday.

China's leading home appliances manufacturer Gree Electric Appliances on Monday officially announced the implementation of the system of two days off a week, which has received over 180 million reads on Chinese twitter-like platform Sina Weibo as of press time. Gree said mandatory overtime work will be cancelled following the new working mechanism. Employees really need overtime arrangement should apply to their supervisors and get approval. The move got Chinese netizens' applaud online.

Previously, employees were encouraged to work overtime based on the "996" work system. The Supreme People's Court of China and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly released a guideline illustrating 10 typical cases of overtime work in August this year. Among the cases, Zhang, an employee from a courier services company who was fired for refusing to work overtime, got a compensation of 8,000 yuan ($1,233) finally. 

The employers may extend working hours for the needs of the production and business operation after consultation with the trade union and employees, however, the extended working hour shall generally not exceed one hour per day, according to Article 41 of the country's Labor Law. 

If the extension will be prolonged due to special reasons, the extended hours shall not exceed three hours one day on the condition to ensure the employees' health, according to the law, while the total extension shall not exceed 36 hours in one month.

Also, the regulations of State Council on the working hours of employees say that employees shall work 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. Any employing unit and individuals can't arbitrarily extend the working hours of the employees. If it is really necessary to extend the working hours due to urgent tasks, the relevant regulations of the country shall apply.