Shijie Wei July 20 2022 Key labour law proposals made at China's 2022 "two sessions" JunHe LLP | Employment & Immigration - China Shijie Wei Employment & Immigration IntroductionUrgent compilation of Labour CodeYouth employment and rights of expatriate employeesImprove social security mechanism for flexible employmentCommentIntroductionIn March 2022, the annual "two sessions" took place in Beijing. These refer to two back-to-back meetings between the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and are considered the biggest annual political event in China. Lawmakers and political advisors with backgrounds in labour law made numerous suggestions and proposals that focused on:compiling the Labour Code;promoting youth employment;expatriate labour rights; andflexible employment.This article provides an overview of the key proposals from the event.Urgent compilation of Labour Code Delegates from the China Association of Social Security suggested that as new employment types and labour issues are emerging in China, the Labour Law should start the codification of the Labour Code as soon as possible and focus on:adjusting the scope of application – the current Labour Law focuses only on traditional employment. However, as flexible employment accounts for an increasing proportion of employment types in China, the Labour Code should be compiled to include all forms of labour in society; andsimultaneously compiling existing labour laws and policies, organising documents issued by various departments and regions, unifying the basic systems and filling in any legislative gaps.Youth employment and rights of expatriate employeesThe China Zhi Gong Party put forward proposals in the below areas.Promoting youth employmentDelegates stated that youth employment in China is still facing problems, such as:uneven economic development;high employment demand; andhigh employment pressure.In this regard, they advocated for the development of the service industry, so that it can provide more jobs, and programmes for:college and vocational school graduates;skilled workers; andoff-farm workers.Protecting rights and interests of expatriate employeesDelegates stated that the belt and road initiative has brought new opportunities for Chinese citizens working abroad. Therefore, it is necessary to protect the safety, rights and interests of expatriate employees. As such, they suggested that the government:supports the security industry;enacts the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Chinese Overseas Expatriates;investigates and deals with illegal intermediaries; anddiscloses relevant information in a timely manner.Improve social security mechanism for flexible employmentDelegates from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party proposed that the social security mechanism for flexible employment (eg, food deliverers and couriers) needs to be established as soon as possible and should cover:labour remuneration:working hours;labour safety;social insurance; andother rights and interests.Regarding workplace injuries, the relevant authorities will coordinate with commercial insurance agencies and use technology such as blockchain to assess the risk of such injuries for flexible employment groups in different industries and determine premium rates.In addition, the delegates suggested that the authorities:simplify the registration procedure and approval of people with flexible employment contracts for insurance policies;increase vocational training subsidies; andcreate a nationwide platform for vocational skills training.CommentAlthough the proposals made at China's two sessions are still only being discussed on an institutional level, with many uncertainties and difficulties anticipated with regard to their implementation, they point to several clear points of action:reducing differences between regional policy in labour law;protecting flexible employment; andsolving other issues of increasing concern.It is expected that the authorities will respond with relevant policies and future development will be monitored closely.For further information on this topic please contact Shijie Wei at JunHe by email ([email protected]). The JunHe website can be accessed at www.junhe.com.