​'Employee sharing' eases labor crunch amid COVID-19 outbreak

By Cui Can, Qin Qi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 24, 2020
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Workers from Hua'erte Technology and Ruizhi Automotive Parts work together on the production line of mask machines. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]

Yang said he believes this is a win-win cooperation. "The employee-sharing program helps to ensure the basic income for employees, and resolves the problem of temporary shortage of workers as well."

As planned, the first batch of 60 mask machines will be delivered on March 25, and the second batch of 50 mask machines will be delivered next month. Sheng said this is going to be the largest delivery of mask machines in Hunan province since the outbreak.

"The idea of sharing employees first came up as a temporary measure to handle the changes brought by the epidemic, but we have seen great potential in it." Qiu said that the employee sharing program has already been introduced to four companies in the zone to ease the shortage of workers.

But despite praising the creative scheme, experts have also warned employers to be aware of the legal pitfalls in this new form of employment.

In an announcement last month, China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security stressed that the employee sharing scheme does not change the relationship between workers and their original hirers. The original employer should guarantee salaries and social insurance of their shared employees, while borrowing companies are responsible for assigning a reasonable workload and hours. None of the two parties should infringe upon the benefits of the shared employees during the epidemic.

"Considering the slack seasons of industries under the outbreak, flexible human resource management across industries can largely contribute to the efficiency of enterprises," said Pan Helin, executive director of the Digital Economy Academy of the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

Pan said that policies and regulations should be rolled out quickly to protect both sides of the employee sharing scheme. "Companies hiring temporary workers should have detailed provisions in their agreements, including the duration of employment and policy for work-related injury compensation. At the same time, the companies lending the employees should sign a complete secondary arrangement, pay employees in full, and pay social security on time."

And for the employees, Pan said they should be more aware of safety precautions, ask for a labor agreement to be signed during the temporary employment period, and keep all the paperwork and records.

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