Shanghai bans job discrimination against recovered COVID patients
Published: Jul 21, 2022 10:21 PM
Visitors are seen at the Shanghai Disney Resort as it reopens on June 30, 2022. (Photo: China News Service/Tang Yanjun)

Visitors are seen at the Shanghai Disney Resort as it reopens on June 30, 2022. (Photo: China News Service/Tang Yanjun)

The Shanghai Municipal People's Congress passed a decision on Thursday, banning employers from terminating contracts, or refusing to hire those who have suffered from infectious diseases. The city also curtailed the time period to check a person's nucleic acid test history record from two months to half a month, which is viewed as a "pragmatic and positive" change for people struggling to find a job. 

The decisions were made after media reported that some people in Shanghai who had recovered from COVID-19 were left jobless and homeless in the city for more than a month. 

The Shanghai Municipal People's Congress' decision also stipulates that courts and organizations that are in charge of solving labor disputes should deal with disputes involving COVID-19 in a timely manner and in accordance with the law.

Earlier this month, media reported that those who had recovered from COVID-19 were struggling to find jobs in Shanghai, as they were rejected by some employers due to their history of infection

As the Chinese central government has continuously reiterated equal treatment of recovered patients and required local governments to avoid taking one-size-fits-all measures, more people in such situations have received help, found jobs or returned to their hometowns recently.

Liu Jia, who was rejected when hunting for a job because of his COVID-19 history, told the Global Times on Thursday that some of those in his situation managed to find a job recently, but some did not. "It took time for the policy to work in real life," Liu said. 

In an effort to reduce such discrimination, Shanghai has curtailed the period for checking nucleic acid test results to half a month, from the previous two months. Shanghai in total recorded more than 620,000 COVID-19 infections during the past wave of the outbreak. 

Gao Qiang (alias), who suffered job discrimination due to his history of contracting COVID-19, told the Global Times that he views the shorter period to check nucleic acid test results as a very "pragmatic and positive" change for people like him. "Now all our concerns of struggling to find a job are gone."

The Legislative Affairs Commission of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress said that Shanghai's job market was severely challenged by COVID-19 this year. As a result, the financial hub's unemployment rate soared to 12.5 percent in the second quarter. So it is time to roll out relevant solutions to employment-related legal terms, and it asked all parties in society to assist in boosting employment.

Yan Zuqiang, an official from the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress, said that recently, requests from university graduates and people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 have been piling up. There have also been labor disputes, which prompted the government to step in. 

The decision included support policies for employers that hired many employees, and helped college graduates to start their own businesses.