In February 2023, the Chinese government issued the amended “Measures for the Administration of National Work Relief” (国家以工代赈管理办法, hereinafter the “Measures”), aiming to solve the employment and subsistence problems of some unemployed people in the short to medium term.
In China, work relief programs refer to a mechanism where, for government-invested infrastructure projects, the recipients participate in project construction and receive labor remuneration, thereby replacing direct financial assistance.
The following points are noteworthy in the Measures.
- Work relief aims to issue labor remuneration to the residents involved in project construction, develop their skills, and promote local employment.
- The owners and construction units involved in work relief projects shall use manual labor in the process of construction instead of machinery as much as possible; besides, they shall try to employ local residents to participate in the projects instead of subcontracting the projects to specialized construction teams.
- The workers for work relief projects shall mainly include rural laborers, low-income urban populations, and groups with employment difficulties.
Cover Photo by Chenyu Guan on Unsplash