Labour inspection services play a key role in ensuring that enhanced productivity and respect for national laws to protect workers' rights go hand in hand. Labour law, whether it is in the form of public legislation, collective agreements or individual employment contracts, allocates rights to workers and employers to ensure that both reap a fair share of the wealth they generate. Labour inspection services promote compliance with labour law, and as such enhance the smooth functioning of the labour market. In other words, labour inspection services are an indispensable institution of social policy and sound labour market governance. The International Labour Organization has set standards for effective labour inspection services: the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) and its Protocol, 1995; and the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129).
The legal framework for labour inspection in China is comprised of several national laws, accompanied by a broad array of regulations promulgated at the provincial level. The rights, duties, and scope of operation of labour inspectors are broadly set out in the Labour Law (1994). In 2004, the State Council promulgated the Decree on Labour Inspection, specifying the responsibilities and duties of the labour inspection service, and strengthening law enforcement. The Labour Contract Law of 2007 further strengthened legal provisions on labour inspection in China. In 2008, the government established the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, in which the Labour Inspection Bureau (LIB) has been created.
In 2009, the ILO and MOHRSS launched their first cooperation on labour inspection with review of labour inspection in three provinces, followed by a symposium on labour inspection strategy and pilot training of trainers.
Based on the above-mentioned cooperative activities, China has been included as one of five countries in an ILO/Norway Programme on Strengthening Labour Inspection Services.
The objective of the current programme is to contribute to long-term socio-economic development by strengthening enforcement and implementation capacities in the field of labour inspection, improving compliance with labour legislation, and thus, rendering labour inspection more responsive to the objective of promoting social justice and Decent Work, empowering it to address current challenges.
Project strategy and activities
The one year project aims at strengthening labour inspection system in China in line with international labour standards. This implies the improvement of the labour inspectors´ status, the establishment of national training plans focusing on capacity building of trainers, enhancing awareness-raising and visibility of labour inspection services, and facilitating exchanges and sharing of good practices at both national and international level.
Project activities include:
- Field surveys, publications and brochures;
- Train-the-trainers courses for labour inspectors based on the ILO training manual;
- Policy discussions; and
- International cooperation and experience exchange.
For further information please contact:
Mr Zhu Changyou
ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia
Tel: + 86 10 6532 5091