China: Heavier Penalties for Violating Workplace Safety Measures Being Considered

China’s Law on Workforce Safety, enacted in 2002, and amended in 2009 and 2014, is up for another round of reforms. In late January 2021, Chinese lawmakers set forth a draft amendment that would make the penalties for workforce safety violations much stronger. The action came on the heels of a January 10 gold mine explosion that trapped 22 miners in a city in east China’s Shandong Province, resulting in leading officials losing their jobs and expectations of significant penalties levied against those responsible for the accident. Such incidents have plagued China’s mining industry, but improved safety measures and increased supervision are bringing needed reform.

Lawmakers on the Standing Committee of China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress, are in the process of reviewing the latest amendments to the law, which include sweeping increases in penalties and fines for violations. Among them are fines equal to the annual income of the “principal leading members of a production or business unit” who do not perform their work-safety duties and after a serious accident occurs. On the more extreme side of the proposed legislation, companies could lose their business licenses temporarily or permanently.

Takeaway: As the world of work changes, so too does the need to protect the people doing the work. Therefore, companies operating in China should continue to monitor evolving legislation and review their risk management and safety protocols – updating strategies as needed – to avoid any significant fines or actions that could jeopardize future operations.


Coronavirus Considerations for Businesses

North America

US: Biden Administration Freezes Proposed Regulations on Worker Classification

US & Canada: Both Employees and Contractors are Among Growing Alphabet Workers Union

US: H1-B Electronic Registration Process Could Undergo Changes

US: Age Discrimination Claim Denied in Worker Performance Case


UK: AGS Launches IR35 Resource Site to Help Companies Prepare for April Countdown

UK: Points-Based Immigration System Updated

UK: Brexit Trade Deal Excludes Financial Services, With Data Sharing and Privacy Rules to Come

Poland & Hungary: EU Ruling Influences Posting of Workers and Services Across Region


India: A Government-Mandated Wage Code Restructuring Could Boost Retirement Income

Australia: New Reform Bill Aims to Protect Workers, Define Casual Employment

This update contains general information only, and AGS is not rendering legal advice. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult qualified legal counsel. AGS shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person or company who relies on this update.