From 7 to 13 June 2017, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme conducted a fact-finding tour for a delegation from the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China on the subject of employment law. The delegation visited Hamburg, Berlin, Bern and Zurich. It was led by Mr Zhang Yong, Vice-Chairperson of the Legislative Affairs Commission, and comprised six officials from the Social Law Department. The aim of the visit was to give the delegation an insight into the foundations of and current developments in German and Swiss employment law as a source of potential ideas for the planned overhaul of China’s own employment legislation.
In Germany, the delegation visited the Higher Labour Court in Hamburg, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the German Trade Union Confederation, the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations and the Human Resources Department at Bayer AG. The delegates held talks with in-house experts at each of these organisations on the implementation of occupational safety rules, legislation to protect employees against unfair dismissal, out-of-court settlement of disputes, temporary employment and collective employment law.
In Switzerland, the delegation met members of the National Council and the Council of States of the Federal Assembly and held talks with representatives of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The focus here was on measures to promote small and medium-sized enterprises, the law governing termination of contracts and regulations to guarantee the payment of employees’ salaries. In Zurich, Professor Jean-Fritz Stockli from the University of Basel gave a talk on the special characteristics of Swiss employment law.
During the tour, members of the delegation expressed particular interest in the social partnership model and in the role of unions and employers’ associations in the free collective bargaining process.