International Law

New China Labor Rules to be Enforced?

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Long reputed as a haven for employers who engage in labor practices considered abusive in many countries, China appears to be on the verge of enforcing stringent new standards–particularly against foreign companies.

Legislation enacted Friday that takes effect Jan. 1, 2008 imposes, among other new standards, a requirement that employment contracts be in writing, reports the Christian Science Monitor. More importantly, unlike previous laws that contained standards that were never enforced, this law appears likely actually to be applied, the newspaper reports.

“As is always the case with China’s laws, the real question will be in whether the new laws are enforced, how they are enforced, and against whom they are enforced,” says Dan Harris, a lawyer at Harris & Moure. But “there is a feeling the new labor law is more likely to be enforced than the old and, in particular, will be enforced against foreign companies.”

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