China's top legislature on Monday made public the full text of the draft law on labor in order to solicit public opinions on the law that will affect almost all workers in the country.
The 7-chapter draft, details the establishment, revocation, revision, and termination of labour contracts. It is the country's first law governing the labor contracts and it was submitted to the top legislature for review last December.
In China, a draft law is normally becomes law after three rounds of deliberation by lawmakers sitting on the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
It is the second draft law being made public in China in recent years, following the law on property rights, which has sparkled several rounds of discussion since it was made public last July.
"By making the draft (labor law) public we hope the public will help lawmakers draw up a law that is more effective in safeguarding the rights of employees' rights and building a harmonious employment relationship," said Kan Ke, spokesman of the general office of the NPC Standing Committee.
The existing labor contract system, set up in accordance with the Labor Law and enacted in 1994, requires an update following dramatic changes in the labor markets in the wake of China's rapid economic growth, an expert said.
Employees' rights and interests are frequently abused as their employers can terminate work contracts at will, dock workers' pay, refuse to renew contracts with employees and decline to pay interns.
For 30 days beginning Monday, the public can give their opinions on the draft law to local legislative bodies, or to the top legislature. The public can also e-mail their concerns on the NPC's website at www.npc.gov.cn, Kan said.
Local legislative bodies were also ordered to solicit opinions from local lawmakers and legal experts and report back to the top legislature by April 20, 2006, he added.