Reasonability of 996 Work Schedule
As 996 work schedule is revealed to the public, its legality has been sternly questioned these days. 996, which refers to a work schedule that employees work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.,6 days per week and usually without a clear compensation regime for overtime work, has been commonly adopting by China's IT companies. Many of those famous entrepreneurs like MaYun, the founder of Alibaba, and LiuQiangdong, the chief of JD.com, express an approving attitude towards 996 scheme by emphasizing that striving is the core connotation of overtime working.
However, their so-called spirit of hard struggle makes no sense from the legal perspective. As stipulated under China's laws, the work schedule of the laborers shall not exceed 8 hours a day and 48 hours per week. Moreover, workers should get 150% of their usual rate for overtime work.
Nevertheless, it is a shame that due to the absence of legal supervision, working overtime even becomes a routine for some employees in China. According to the survey conducted by People's Daily, 80% of the enterprises make their employees work overtime and more than 40% of those enterprises never pay for the extra hours. Beyond doubt, these enterprises are breaking national labor laws. Furthermore, companies tend to make the 996 work schedule a default norm rather than a formal policy in order to evade the responsibility for their violations of labor laws and the legal requirement to pay overtime. This makes the illicit group of companies the biggest beneficiary of the 996 schedule.
Aside from irregularities of clauses, the nervous working atmosphere which 996 scheme creates could also have a negative physical influence on workers. People's Daily quoted the China's Employees Development Report as saying that up to 70% of Chinese intellectuals are in the state of sub-health As working hours are getting longer, the death rate from overworking has surged rapidly in the recent years. Although supporters of 996 scheme propagate an argument that employees who are not pleased with the requirements could submit the resignation with freedom, the current situation of employment is not optimistic to the extent that workers have to remain on the posts only to earn a living.
I believe that the overuse of employees is against the humanitarian spirit. The provisions of labor laws are valuable accomplishments of labor struggles, and labors have the right to fight with the unjust structures for their vital interests. It is fair and reasonable that workers who are on the 996 work schedule and never get legitimate benefits from it should consciously strive for their equities and dignities through the legal means.
From where I stand, working towards a better life does not equal to compulsory 996. A beautiful life does not simply mean earning more money for today's Chinese people, and a respected enterprise is definitely notmerely chasing after profits. The growth of overtime work culture has brought about unhealthy social costs. It's taking a toll on workers' families, communities, and finally on employers themselves. Although a higher income matters, I give top priority to whether I could learn new things and improve myself through the job - which leads to a better future for me. Overtime might be a common phenomenon in the industry, but anyhow, the existing regime of 996 is supposed to meet the needs of legalization. In the twilight of demographic dividend, the combination of efficiency and fairness is the ultimate method which liberates the social productivity. I am convinced that if an effective ensuring system is set up to prevent the labor rights from infringement, every diligent worker will be generously devoting into the social construction.