10 firms to better tend to rights of workers

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A courier with Ele.me in Funan county, Anhui province, poses for a photo on her way to delivering goods. [Photo/China Daily]

Ten leading companies in China's thriving platform-based economy, including food delivery giant Meituan and ride-hailing company Didi, have been urged to "play an exemplary role" in protecting the rights of their flexibly employed workers, authorities said on Friday.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said during a meeting that it will give administrative guidance to 10 major companies involved in the new form of employment in order to address prominent problems in the protection of workers' lawful rights and interests.

Transport authorities, market regulators and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions will also participate, the ministry said in a statement released on its website.

The 10 companies are food delivery groups Meituan and Ele.me, ride-hailing service provider Didi, instant delivery companies Dada and Shansong, truck-hailing companies Huolala and Manbang, homemaking service provider Swan Daojia, and e-commerce and internet conglomerates Alibaba and Tencent.

These companies are being highlighted in a nationwide campaign to strengthen protection of flexibly employed workers who often lack well-defined labor contracts, health insurance and social benefits.

On July 22, eight government departments issued a guideline aimed at resolving the issue.

During the meeting, the ministry requested these companies to thoroughly survey the conditions of such employees they have hired, and promptly remedy potential problems.

They should also formulate rectification plans, and set clear timelines and road maps.

They are requested to sign labor contracts or written agreements with all employees, and guarantee their rights to receive pay, take breaks and ensure their safety at workplaces.

It is also important for them to hear suggestions from employees and improve communication. Complaints filed by workers should receive timely replies and fair treatment, the ministry added.

In addition, these companies are urged to upgrade algorithms and improve income distribution systems, guarantee time off, as well as enhance labor safety and sanitation regulations.

The ministry stressed that as leading companies in the sector, they should also play a leading role in caring for employees and fulfilling their social responsibilities.

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