Employee In Beijing Compensated For “Invisible Overtime”



A Beijing court ruled in favor of an employee seeking compensation for work-related discussions conducted outside regular working hours. Furthermore, President Kou Fang of the Beijing High People’s Court talked about the case at the 16th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress. He stressed that the court’s job was to protect workers’ rights.

Li, the plaintiff, asserted that she performed over 500 hours of additional work over her one-year employment tenure and did not receive compensation for it. Furthermore, Li used WeChat to talk to clients and coworkers almost every day, even on vacations and after work. The court agreed with the employee, despite the employer’s claim that these communications were necessary to address client needs.

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The court instructed Li’s employer to remunerate her with 30,000 yuan ($4,214) due to the fact that the text messages constituted “fixed and periodic” tasks, hence necessitating further compensation. According to The Sun’s article, the court determined that the corporation had established an unlawful “flexible working hour system,” a decision supported by the local labor department.

This ruling is the inaugural instance in China where text messaging has been officially acknowledged as laborious activity, regardless of the location where the work is performed. The concept of “invisible overtime” aims to safeguard employees’ entitlement to leisure time.

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