Lawmaker Calls for Legal Measures to Tackle Employment Discrimination

March 20, 2017
By China Women's NewsEditor: Penny Huang

Guo Xinzhi, a three-term deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) and deputy director of the Shanxi Disabled Person's Federation in north China [www.ce.cn]

 

Guo Xinzhi, a three-term deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), recently suggested that legal authorities should enact new rules to address the problem of discrimination by employers.

Guo, who is also deputy director of the Shanxi Disabled Person's Federation in north China, has spoken up for disadvantaged groups such as women, children, elderly people and physically impaired people for many years.

"By giving them more care, compassion and support, they will live with more hope," she said.

Discrimination is still prevalent in many forms in the workplace, explained Guo, because existing laws lack specific details on how to prevent bias.

According to her, the country's current Labor Law only stipulates that "laborers shall not be discriminated against in employment due to their nationality, race, sex or religious belief". Despite other laws such as Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons and Employment Promotion Law forbidding discrimination against those who are physically impaired or suffering from an illness, or migrants from the countryside, prejudice still exists.

Guo said that prejudice occurs in multiple situations such as at graduate school, or when officials are issuing household registration, or in circumstances concerning age and educational attainment.

Guo pointed out that under current regulations, the only defense against bias is as a rights declaration. The law lacks specific definitions and there is no safeguarding of the legal process or its implementation.

"For instance, despite all-round provisions stipulating the protection of women's equal rights and interests, gender bias in the workplaces is still evident and prevalent," explained Guo. "And now with the implementation of the Universal Two-Child Policy, things will be even more pronounced."

Confronted with the worrisome situation, Guo urged legislative authorities to enact law specifying the definition and types of employment discrimination; the subjects of application; the contents of rights and interests on employment equality; liability; incentive measures; and, other relief channels.

Also, in order to improve legal mechanisms, Guo suggested officials set up a specialized supervision institution to formulate emergency mechanisms and form a litigation system to combat discrimination.

Furthermore, Guo called on the government to introduce preferential tax policies for enterprises to encourage employers to recruit women.

(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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