Guo Xinzhi, deputy to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislative body, appealed to authorities to formulate an Anti-Employment Discrimination Law as soon as possible at this year's "Two Sessions".
Guo, who also serves as vice-chairperson of Shanxi Provincial Disabled Persons' Federation, pointed out that in reality, the existing laws and regulations cannot cover all forms of employment discrimination. This is despite the fact that categories including nationality, race, gender and religious belief, as well as some vulnerable groups, including the disabled, carriers of infectious diseases and migrant workers, are clearly forbidden to be discriminated against in employment according to China's Labor Law, Laws on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities and other existing laws.
The deputy further explained that graduating institution, registered permanent residence, age and educational background are all still regarded as unreasonable obstacles existing in the job market. Even though all of these factors are forbidden to be causes for discrimination in an announcement released by China's Ministry of Education and the General Office of the State Council, such discrimination still exists.
In addition, Guo also believes that with the implementation of China's universal ‘two-child' policy, women's equal rights of employment are far more difficult to protect.
Therefore, Guo suggested that the government should formulate a law on anti-employment discrimination as soon as possible so as to provide the necessary legal basis for vulnerable groups who are discriminated against in employment. She also advised establishing a special supervisory body, responsible for employment discrimination issues.
Learning from the relevant provisions of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, the deputy also suggested that the government introduce tax incentives and other measures for enterprises, with a view to encouraging employers to hire more female staff.
(Source: China Women's News / Translated and edited by Gender Study Network)