New challenges: Resolution of labour disputes arising from new types of employment

ILO and the tripartite constituents in China explore good practices of labour disputes resolution between workers and labour platforms

Press release | 30 September 2022
Beijing (ILO News) ILO and MOHRSS jointly organized a seminar on Improving Labour Disputes Resolution Mechanism in Beijing from 21-22 September 2022. The purpose of the seminar is to improve the labour disputes resolution mechanism of China through exchanging experiences on the institutional development of labour disputes resolution and good practices in addressing labour disputes arising from new types of employment.

China has a booming digital economy and around 200 million people in flexible employment, many of which are in the gig economy. China’s platform employment is estimated to be between 40 to 84 million. The fast-growing platform economy has become a new source of China’s employment growth. However, before the regulatory framework catches up, individual platform workers are weak and vulnerable in front of the fast-expanding platform companies. In China, more than half of the platform workers are born in 1990s, and many are millennials. Unlike their parents, the young generations of rural migrant workers prefer flexible platform work to stable but routine factory jobs.

Chang-Hee Lee, Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, highlighted that China’s labour disputes resolution system has made laudable progress and achievements in a short period of time. Finding the right approach to protecting the workers in new types of employment is important for building harmonious labour relations, cultivating social cohesion and achieving shared prosperity. To respond to the challenges facing workers in new types of employment, it is important to work out pragmatic measures to provide a multi-tiered protection mechanism, including through innovations of the labour disputes resolution system, and revisit the labour laws in the long term.
Mr. Hao Bin, Director-General of the International Cooperation Department of the MOHRSS
Hao Bin, Director-General of the International Cooperation Department of the MOHRSS introduced the legislative challenges brought about by the fast-developing platform work and reviewed the recent policies adopted by the government in this regard, especially the “Guiding Opinion on Protecting Workers in New Forms of Employment”, which marked an important step in protecting workers in new forms of employment. Protecting the rights and interests of workers in new forms of employment is vital for the promotion of quantitative and qualitative employment.

Wang Zhenqi, Director-General of the Mediation and Arbitration Management Department of the MOHRSS, gave an overview of the labour disputes resolution system of China and updated the participants the latest progress and achievements as well as the future priorities of the labour disputes mediation and arbitration. It is important to protect workers’ rights and ensure social equity. We must work hard to ensure the people can enjoy fairness and justice in front of every law and in every labour dispute case.

Tripartite constituents, the Supreme Court and courts at local levels, local labour arbitration courts, local MOHRSS officials, lawyers, representatives of academia, and international experts from ILO, UK, Brazil, Spain, and Korea participated in the meeting in person or online.