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Beijing Court Upholds Workers' Right to Offline Rest

Wed, 03 Jul 2024
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 8 Mar. 2024, a labor dispute case (Li v. X, (2022) Jing 03 Min Zhong No. 9602 ((2022)京03民终9602号)) decided by the Beijing Third Intermediate People’s Court attracted public attention, according to Report on the Work of China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC),. The court ruled that workers who perform “invisible overtime work” through social media platforms such as WeChat outside of working hours and premises are entitled to overtime pay from their employers.

With the development of the Internet and the prevalence of online work, many workers are constantly in a state of “on-call”, leading to the subtle infringement of their right to rest.

Although the first-instance court did not support Li’s overtime claim, the Beijing Third Intermediate People’s Court, as the second-instance court, overturned the decision and ordered a technology company to compensate Li with CNY 30,000 in overtime pay.

As the first case in China to explicitly address the issue of “invisible overtime work” in the judicial document, the Beijing court creatively proposed the “provision of substantial work” principle and the “clear occupation of time” principle as criteria for identifying “invisible overtime work”, responding to the development trend of employment relationships in the digital age and safeguarding workers’ right to “offline rest”.



Photo by Jennifer Chen on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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