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China's Supreme Court has called the 12-hour six-day schedule illegal

The Supreme Court of China has taken up arms against large private companies using a six-day working week with a twelve-hour schedule (the so-called “996” schedule), CNN writes. The court called such a regime illegal and recalled that employees have the right to rest and vacation, and employers are obliged to comply with the law on the eight-hour working day.

The court issued a joint statement with the Ministry of Labor Resources and Social Security of the People's Republic of China.

The document notes the illegality of the “996” regime on the example of several companies that have made such a schedule mandatory contrary to the law. “Employers can call for hard work, but at the same time they should not forget about their duties,” the text of the statement says. In one of the cases, an employee of the publishing house died at 05: 30 from heart failure while going to the office toilet. The management was found guilty of the man's death and ordered to pay the victim's family 400 thousand yuan (61.7 thousand US dollars).

The “996” schedule — six days a week from 9 to 21 hours-is usually used by technology giants and startups to reduce salary costs and increase labor productivity. In early 2021, Pinduoduo was blamed for the death of a 22-year-old employee. The girl became ill on the street when she was returning from work at half-past one in the morning. Two weeks later, another employee of the company committed suicide.

Chinese law provides for an eight-hour working day. Recycling is allowed in emergency cases, but no more than three hours a day. Depending on the situation, the employer is obliged to pay 150-300 percent of the salary for overtime hours.

In 2019, Alibaba founder Jack Ma called it a” blessing “to work at the pace of ”996”. “If you don't spend more time and energy than others, how will you become successful?” the billionaire asked. Later, the head of one of the largest Chinese online retailers joined the discussion JD.com Richard Liu. The businessman supported overtime work, complained about the decrease in the number of employees, and called managers “idlers”.

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