Laying Off Workers In China? Permission Slip Needed

Companies around the world are keen to redeploy labor resources and cut costs to cope with the global downturn, but those operating in China may find that laying off people there will not be as easy as previously, Forbes reported. For the ten-month period from January to October, those who lost their jobs numbered 10.2 million, topping Beijing's forecast for the entirety of 2008 by 2.0%, minister of human resources and social security Yin Weimin said at a press conference Thursday. In response, authorities are clamping down on the freedom to dismiss substantial numbers of workers. Local authorities may try to dissuade companies by pushing alternatives such as salary cuts or even state supplements to subsidize workers' wages. The new rules could prove counterproductive, if companies react to denial of approval from provincial officials by simply shutting down rather than adapting their restructuring plans. Read more.