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All work, little play is the norm, poll finds

By He Dan (China Daily)

08:04, May 02, 2012

Every three in 10 employees on the Chinese mainland work 10 hours or longer per workday, according to a new survey.

But even the average worker on the mainland toils eight hours and 40 minutes a day, concluded a survey of 30,000 residents in 28 cities who were asked about their work and life in the last three months. Nearly half of the respondents work longer than the eight-hour workday stipulated by Chinese labor law.

The Institute of Social Science Survey, affiliated with Peking University, and Zhaopin.com, one of China's biggest employment agencies, jointly released the poll results in late April ahead of May Day, which fell on Tuesday.

About 66 percent of respondents said they had to work after they went home for about half an hour.

"I feel as if I start work the moment I open my eyes every morning and don't stop until I fall asleep," said Fan Min, 26, a property agent in Beijing.

Fan said his working hours are typically from 9 am to 9 pm, with an hour break for lunch at noon.

He worked on Tuesday, though it was May Day, within the three-day national holiday from April 29 to May 1.

"For people like us, working on weekends or holidays is so common, because most of our clients have time to look for apartments (to rent or buy) on non-workdays," he said, adding that his company pays him triple wages for overtime.

The poll did not offer data on how many of the people who work overtime receive their legally mandated extra pay.

Feng Nan, 27, who works for a public relations company in Beijing, said sometimes people feel that they have to work extra hours to impress their bosses.

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