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Lack of leisure tme takes toll on workers (2)

(China Daily)

10:36, October 11, 2012

Tourists huddle together on the crowded Yongjin Bridge over West Lake in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, on Oct 1 during the National Day holiday. (China Daily)

Compared with outdoor activities such as traveling, Web browsing at home costs much less, which is relevant as the per capita GDP in China is still not high, he added.

In fact, experts have been calling for an enforcement of the paid-leave policy to help people enjoy more leisure time.

A survey of approximately 2,400 people found 55 percent had never enjoyed paid leave from work, and only 22 percent said they could enjoy fully-paid leave every year, Guangming Daily reported. Of those polled, 46 percent had worked for more than 10 years.

The State Council endorsed a regulation in 2008 that allows workers to enjoy five days of paid leave a year after working for 12 months. People who have worked for 10 years could enjoy 10 days of paid leave and workers who have worked for 20 years and longer get 15 days.

Huang Yiqiang, who works at an accounting firm in Beijing, said his employer allows him eight days of paid leave each year but he has never fully enjoyed them.

"My work pressure is heavy so I have to finish my work before I can consider taking paid leave," said the 29-year-old, who has worked for the company for four years. "I wish there were more long holidays."

Currently, the State-mandated annual leave is 11 days in total. There are only two long holidays, the Spring Festival and National Day holidays, with three days each. Usually, the length of the two holidays can be extended to seven days including weekend, nicknamed Golden Week.

Wang Qiyan, a researcher of leisure economy at Renmin University of China, said it is necessary to bring back the May Day holiday, which was shortened from seven days to three days in 2008. He also suggests more efforts to enforce the paid-leave policy.

Government departments and large enterprises implement the paid-leave policy well but such welfare is still absent in many small and medium private companies, he said.

Labor authorities and trade unions should take action to make the policy better implemented to ensure workers' legitimate rights, he said.

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