EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION IN CHINA
According to official information an employee representation, the so-called Employee Congress, is to be introduced in 90% of the non-public companies in Shanghai by the end of the year.
The Employee Congress is similar in several respects to a German works council but due to the different environment and another role of the trade unions it cannot be put on a level with the German works council. Local provisions in Shanghai regulate the matters on which the Employee Congress must only be consulted and the issues which require its approval. As far as the staffing of the Employee Congress is concerned, it should be taken into consideration that the number of members depends on the headcount of the company and that mainly industrial employees must be represented. The Employee Congress plays an important role at the introduction of a works manual or other corporate rules. It has a special significance in the event of mass dismissals or plant closures. There has been an increasing number of plant closures recently in many parts of China also as a result of stricter environmental requirements or changes to the land usage planning. The co-operation between the Employee Congress and state-controlled trade unions is another topic which requires the attention of the companies. If an Employee Congress is introduced in the company, it is, moreover, necessary to draft a detailed set of rules of procedure and a code of procedure.