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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1432708
 
 

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From Contracts to Compliance? An Early Look at Implementation Under China's New Labor Legislation


Virginia E. Harper Ho


University of Kansas - School of Law

September 20, 2009

Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 34, 2009

Abstract:     
In 2008, three new primary labor laws took effect in China that together represent the first major retooling of its labor legislation in fifteen years: the Labor Contract Law, the Labor Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law, and the Employment Promotion Law. The new laws have attracted widespread attention from the international business community, labor advocates, and observers of China's ongoing legal reforms. However, whether the legislation can overcome and resolve fundamental implementation barriers remains largely the subject of speculation and debate. This Article offers a preliminary answer.

Drawing on the literature on corporate compliance and regulatory policy, it first describes the institutions and processes for enforcing Chinese labor law and identifies current implementation challenges. It then introduces the three laws and considers the extent to which, taken together, they are likely to motivate broader employer compliance in light of these constraints. Using implementation of the Labor Contract Law’s written contract requirement as a case study, the Article then presents the results of field research in Guangdong Province as an early indication of the laws' impact on public policy priorities, employer practices, and legal mobilization. It concludes by commenting on the power and limits of regulatory change and suggesting directions for further reforms that might motivate a sustained transformation of workplace practices.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 75

Keywords: China, labor law, implementation, compliance, employer, employee, worker, labor contract, labor inspection, union, mobilization

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Date posted: July 11, 2009 ; Last revised: August 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Harper Ho, Virginia E., From Contracts to Compliance? An Early Look at Implementation Under China's New Labor Legislation (September 20, 2009). Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 34, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1432708

Contact Information

Virginia E. Ho (Contact Author)
University of Kansas - School of Law ( email )
Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States
785-864-9217 (Phone)
785-864-5054 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ku.edu
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