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Chinese employees are only allowed to take leave in case of sudden death

Applying for a 2-day leave due to exhaustion after 3 months of continuous overtime, Xiao Li was questioned and made difficult by the human resources department, not giving him a break.

Accordingly, Xiao Li (an employee of a technology company in Shanghai, China) has applied for a leave of absence due to having to work overtime for 3 consecutive months. During the exchange, he and the human resources (HR) department disagreed and had a controversy.

According to Jiupai News Videos, When HR asked about the time off, Xiao Li said he consulted with the production department and was accepted. He will return to work after 2 days of leave to go to the doctor due to exhaustion.

“If I die suddenly, can you take responsibility?”, Xiao Li told the staff when being harassed.

Personnel immediately replied: “When suddenly die, then say”.

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Many tech workers have to work overtime until they are exhausted. Photo: dfic.cn.

Deadly pressure

The story shared by Xiao Li on the forum caused a great controversy. Most of the comments expressed frustration and objection to the lack of affection, somewhat excessive behavior of the staff.

In the afternoon of the same day, the reporter of Jiupai contacted a representative of the company where Xiao Li works. The company said it would verify and clarify with the HR department, then respond to public opinion.

According to Tianyancha, the above company was established in 2019, with registered charter capital of one million yuan. The company’s business scope includes the development of social networking technology, digital technology, computers and the Internet.

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996 work culture is condemned in the country of billions of people. Photo: Reuters.

This is not the first time that the public has been outraged at the fact that employees of large technology companies have to work overtime, constantly working overtime according to the 996 culture (working from 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week).

On February 23, a young technician of the technology giant ByteDance died suddenly in the company’s gym.

A week earlier, the 26-year-old designer also died suddenly at home. His chat messages before his death said he “was up all night for a week”.

The issue of office workers, especially those working in the information technology industry, suddenly dying from overwork has become a hotly debated topic.

The report found that nearly 90% of office workers cannot escape the situation of having to work overtime.

According to a survey published in the “Chinese Journal of Emergency Medicine”, about 80% of information technology workers in the country are in a state of excessive fatigue.

Chronic fatigue is not only a cause of early coronary heart disease in young and middle-aged adults, but also accounts for 65% to 80% of the causes of sudden cardiac arrest deaths.

Long battle

At the end of 2021, a campaign called “Worker Lives Matter” was initiated by Chinese programmers, to protest against the harsh overtime regime in big technology companies such as Tencent, Alibaba, ByteDance.

“The campaign started by Chinese programmers to tackle overtime is widespread and unregulated in companies, including tech companies. Our employees need lives too.” , the attached message adds that the initiating group is anonymous programmers.

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The fight against excessive overtime is a long battle. Photo: Getty.

Public anger over overtime peaked in January of this year, when a 23-year-old employee at e-commerce platform Pinduoduo died suddenly on his way home at 1:30 a.m.

In August, China’s highest court published a series of labor-related rulings to clarify legal standards for working hours and overtime pay.

However, from calling for no overtime to implementing it takes a long process.

Mr. Wang (born in 1994), now an engineer of a large technology company, told Red Star News that after the announcement of the cancellation of the overtime system, his department was only stricter about overtime, but the workload for the day remained the same. Therefore, many people are forced to squeeze out their exhaustion to get the job done.

Experts are concerned that intense work can lead to sudden death, but it is difficult to ensure the rights of workers and hold the employer responsible if an employee has an accident outside the workplace.

Fu Jian, a lawyer from Henan Yulong Law Firm, believes that sudden deaths at home in general have little to do with the work arranged by the employer, and can hardly be attributed to an accident “during working hours, where work and for work reasons”.

Lin Dong, a well-known lawyer for labor disputes at Shanghai Henglong Law Firm, also told Red Star News that the sudden death of employees at home or in the company gym does not meet the “Injury Regulations” and is difficult to define as a work injury.

According to Zing

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