News on several web portals said that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China is considering an amendment to the current wage regulation.
The current major regulations regarding wages paid by enterprises to employees are mainly promulgated in the earlier 1990s. Provisional Measures on Wage Payment came into effect from January 1st, 1995 and the Provisions on Composition of Wages were approved by the State Council on January 1st, 1990. These old regulations were legislated on the backdrop of planned economy and have proved to be incompatible with the market-oriented economy nowadays. Local governments like Shanghai, Beijing, Jiangsu have also enacted their local regulations in respect of wage payment.
According to the news, there are two spotlights in the coming amendment:
(1) Contents and scope of wages will be clarified. Presently, wages under Chinese law are defined to include only those income embodied in currency other than goods received by employees. It is said the revised regulation will expand the scope of wages to cover stock options.
(2) The “same work, same remuneration” principle will be strengthened in the new regulation. Namely, employees that work on the same job position, handle the same volume of work are entitled to receive the same wages no matter the employee is recruited by the enterprises themselves or is seconded from other units.
Personally, I would like to see that new regulations will cast lights on how to determine the base salary on which overtime pay shall be calculated, as this ambiguity has bred a large magnitude of labor disputes in practice.
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