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New rights extend to Hepatitis B virus carriers
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Xiao Yong, a Hepatitis B virus carrier, was relieved after he learned there were new regulations regarding employment, because his illness has denied him several job opportunities. "This is really good news. The government showed its attitude toward Hepatitis B virus carriers but no relative rules had been detailed before the new regulations were unveiled," Xiao Yong said.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security of the PRC recently released the Regulations on Employment Services and Management, which will take effect on January 1 of next year. The new regulations will strengthen employee protections.

A noticeable item added to the regulations is that employers must not refuse candidates because they are Hepatitis B virus carriers and also must not set the Hepatitis B virus serology index as a physical exam standard. A compulsive physical exam is not allowed and enterprises with irregularities may be imposed a fine up to 1,000 yuan (US$135).

There are about 120 million Hepatitis B virus carriers in China. "Discrimination against Hepatitis B virus carriers still happens in China. The regulations will protect the employment rights of these people, so they are beneficial," Li Xiongwen said, General Manager of Excellence Consultants Ltd.

The regulations also state that employers should indicate payment and welfare in their job advertisements and they should not enforce restrictions on the marriage of women employees.

The regulations also stipulate that employers should not detain their employees’ identification cards and other credentials nor collect belongings from employees in the name of guarantees.

( by Yang Xi, November 9, 2007)

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