China’s top legislature has warned against discrimination toward laborers from regions hard-hit by the novel coronavirus epidemic in a bid to ensure fair employment.
The behavior of some employers who refuse to hire those from Hubei, the province hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, or fire these people should be inspected and rectified in line with the law, according to Guo Linmao, an official with the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislative body.
“Labor is a basic constitutional right of citizens, and the Chinese Labor Law is also clear on guaranteeing fair employment and prohibiting job discrimination,” he said.
Guo made the remarks on Friday, as some laborers from Hubei were found having difficulties in finding a job or being fired without a reason after the outbreak has been controlled in the Chinese mainland and many industries have been gradually recovering.
“People from Hubei, especially those from Wuhan, capital of the province, were tenacious and brave during the outbreak, and they followed the epidemic-related control rules and gave extremely great efforts when fighting against the disease,” he said.
Several Chinese laws stipulate that any kind of discrimination in employment must be banned and that employment equity must be guaranteed, according to him.
For example, the Chinese Employment Promotion Law upholds the expansion of employment in the country’s economic and social developments, stipulating governments at each level should create a fair employment environment and expand jobs in various ways, he said.
Meanwhile, employers who terminate contracts on the grounds of where employees come from are also identified as disobeying the Chinese Labor Contract Law and should be bear legal liability, he added.
“Regional discrimination in job seeking, which damages laborers’ equal employment rights, is neither legal nor good to consolidate results of the epidemic control and promote economic development,” he said.
While calling for governments to take measures against employers refusing to hire laborers from Hubei or firing them in an untimely manner, he urged departments of human resources and social security at all levels to do an inspection on whether the laws have been enforced.
The authorities should deter and correct behaviors of employers found to have disobeyed the laws, he said.
“In addition, the laws need to be further popularized to guide employers in recruitment to effectively protect laborers’ rights in employment equity,” he added.