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Cut working day to six hours, says lawmaker

CHINA should cut the working day to six hours from the current eight to help unemployment, a lawmaker suggested yesterday.

The six-hour working day could increase the number of employees by 30 percent, Si Jianmin, a deputy to the National People's Congress, said in a bill submitted to the parliament yesterday, the Oriental Morning Post reported today.

The same suggestion generated controversy when it was proposed by Si last year during the annual National People's Congress. Raising it again is addressing the current needs of China's job market, Si said.

China has a potential working population of 750 million but has 200 million unemployed. The new policy would better allocate labor resources and expand employment, said Si, who is also vice president of Zhejiang University.

Employees would get three times their regular hourly salary for overtime but this should involve less than two hours a day. The total time spent on volunteer and community work should not be more than 20 hours per week, according to China's Labor Law, Si added.

Si also pointed out in his bill that only 70 percent of the total working day in China was regarded as "efficient work time." A cut in the day's work hours could improve work efficiency by 25 percent, Si said.


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