(ECNS) - Top think-tanks in China have proposed a four-day, 36-hour work week among other measures to reform the current public holiday system by 2030.
The report published by the National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and CASS Tourism Research Center outlined the development of the leisure and recreation industry in China, saying it is still underdeveloped due to people’s lack of free time, shortage of market products, and insufficient public facilities, services and policies.
The report said that after labor productivity reaches a certain level, China should gradually drop the current golden-week holiday system, where weekends and paid holidays are re-arranged so that people can have seven continuous days of holiday.
It suggested extending the Spring Festival holiday to eight days in the period from 2020-2025, adding Lantern Festival as a public holiday, and also introducing the four-day (36-hour) working system first in large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises in some industries in the eastern region. From 2025, some industries in eastern and central regions can implement the four-day working system before it becomes nationwide beginning in 2030, proposed the report.
A survey of 2,552 respondents across the country showed that 40.1 percent had no paid annual leave and 4.1 percent couldn’t take a break even though they had paid annual leave. The survey also found only 31.3 percent had paid annual leave that they were able to arrange themselves.
In 2017, the average leisure time for Chinese people was 2.27 hours per day, less than three years ago (2.55 hours). Residents in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing had even less leisure time each day, at 1.94, 2.04, 2.14 and 2.25 hours respectively, according to a previous report by China Central Television and the State Statistics Bureau. Workers in China have about half the leisure time of workers in the United States, Britain and Germany, said the report.
The report also said employees should negotiate with their employers according to their needs and arrange their vacations in a flexible way in future.