Home / Issues / Volume 6, Number 1 (Fall 2013) / The Legislation of Collective Contracts in China
VOLUME 6, NUMBER 1 (Fall 2013)
The Legislation of Collective Contracts in China: Predicaments, Reasons and the Way Out
By SU Huaye | Article | 6 Tsinghua China L. Rev. 65 (2013) | Download Full Article PDF


The rights of employees can be understood in terms of statutory standards, corporate rules, collective contracts, and labor contracts. In recent years, the labor contract system in China has made remarkable progress, especially after the Labor Contract Law came into force in 2008. This law has been put into practice rapidly since then. Heated public debates on the labor contract system and abundant cases revolving around it have made this law useful to the Chinese legal system and increasingly important in defending employee rights. At the moment, Chinese labor law is mostly focused on individual labor relationships coordinated by labor contracts.

Compared with the attention paid to the development of the labor contract system, the collective contract system still lacks a meaningful presence in Chinese labor law legislation. However, frequent collective labor disputes, or so-called labor emergencies,1 call for the law to change its attitude towards collective contracts. A collective labor system is urgently needed to satisfy the requirements of social justice. In support of this goal, this article discusses labor contract and collective contract theories, discerns between these two systems, and advocates for the independent legislation of a collective contract system conducive to China’s national conditions. This article also examines legislation in other legal systems on collective contracts and identifies key elements that should be incorporated into the collective contract system of China.
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