The Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau yesterday reminded all companies they must pay an allowance to all employees who work outdoors during extremely hot weather, a policy many private companies don't follow.
According to a policy issued by the bureau and the Shanghai Trade Union on July 11, workers should be paid an allowance of at least 10 yuan (US$1.28) a day if they work outside when the high tops 33 degrees Celsius.
The policy also states that companies can't reduce wages if employees are given reduced duties during hot weather.
While most employees of state-owned companies that Shanghai Daily talked to said they already receive the allowance, many working for private companies had never heard of the rule or received any bonus for working in hot weather.
"Sometimes the boss will offer us popsicles or cold drinks in hot weather, but we don't receive any allowance," said a water delivery worker surnamed Huang. "Our payment is in accordance with the number of water bottles we deliver - I earn one yuan for each barrel delivered."
Huang said he didn't dare ask his boss for the allowance as he was afraid of losing his job.
The local construction industry watchdog last week announced the latest salary guidelines for workers.
Based on a survey of construction workers in town during the first half of the year, authorities created pay guidelines for 14 jobs. Unskilled workers earn 38 yuan a day on average, while the highest paid workers are carpenters who take home 58 yuan a day.
The figures could be used as guidelines by migrant workers to judge their own payment level. The watchdog will update the guidelines every three months.
(Shanghai Daily July 30, 2007)