Labour Law as a vehicle for Social Inclusion in China
The International Department at the NCHR hosted a seminar with guest researcher Yifeng Chen, Associate Professor at Peking University Law School and Special Adviser Wei Chen from the Economic and Social Affairs Department at the Norwegian Confederation on Trade Unions (LO).
Yifeng Chen (right) and Wei Chen at the Seminar. (Photo: UiO)
Yifeng Chen presented his research titled “Labor Law as Social Inclusion: A Proposal for Re-conceptualization of Employment Relationship in Chinese Law”. He offers a critical examination of the definition of employment relationship and the notion of a “worker” under Chinese law.
The right to work is clearly provided for in the International Covenant of Economic, Cultural and Social Rights. Yet under domestic labor laws, the legal recognition of workers, who are thus under the protection of labor law and entitled to various social protection systems, covers only those who are under formal employment relationship.
Pushing for an inclusive labour law
As a result of the narrowly constructed concept of employment relationship under Chinese law, a considerably large amount of people, who are working in informal economy, flexibly employed or self-employed, find it difficult to integrate into the existing labor law regime.
Yifeng Chen proposes a reconstruction of employment relationship by highlighting the role of labor law as an essential institution for social inclusion and redistribution in order to protect the rights of those who are working in the informal economy.
Wei Chen from LO introduced the Norwegian law and practice on protecting employees rights.