CAPTURING
THE
GAINS

economic and social upgrading
in global production networks



Capturing the Gains Working Paper 2011/05

China’s New Labour Contract Law: State Regulation and Worker Rights in Global Production Networks

Tu Lan, John Pickles

Abstract

In 2007/2008, the new Labour Contract Law was enacted in China. This law has substantially changed the conditions under which workers and employers can enter into contracts and has had important effects on the ability of workers to shape their conditions of work. This paper outlines the conditions and terms of the 1995 Labour Law and how the new law changes these. It details the legal requirements of the new law and then assesses the consequences of these changes for global buyers sourcing from China and for workers and enterprises in China. In particular, it assesses the differential impacts of the new law on permanent and temporary workers in state-owned and private enterprises, and between private- and public-sector employees.

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