Labor laws need update, experts say
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Population and Labor Economics released on Dec 19 the latest Green Book of Population and Labor, saying the new economy grew by an average of 16 percent from 2007 to 2016, almost twice as fast as China’s overall economic growth. Employment relationships in the new economy, however, have posed challenges. People in the new economy work in flexible ways. Those who rely on internet platforms, such as carhailing services and e-commerce, work any time they want. Workers can get various temporary jobs or start their own businesses through sharing platforms. There are no labor contracts and they don’t have conventional employers in the traditional economy, says Gao Wenshu, a researcher at the institute and one of the authors for the Green Book. Experts have called on legislators to update China’s labor laws to keep pace with the emerging challenges to workers’ rights that have arisen with the rapid expansion of the new economy.