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Returning migrant workers and college graduates participate in a job fair in Anqing, East China's Anhui Province, on June 19, 2022. More than 120 enterprises in the city participated in the fair, offering more than 6,000 jobs in industries including biotechnology and new energy. More than 1,100 applicants accepted jobs on the spot. Photo: VCG

Returning migrant workers and college graduates participate in a job fair in Anqing, East China's Anhui Province, on June 19, 2022. More than 120 enterprises in the city participated in the fair, offering more than 6,000 jobs in industries including biotechnology and new energy. More than 1,100 applicants accepted jobs on the spot. Photo: VCG


Chinese authorities have stepped up crackdown on job discrimination against recovered COVID-19 patients by releasing urgent notices to prohibit rejection on recruiting or arbitrarily firing or dismissing those who have recovered from COVID-19. 

An urgent notice issued by the China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the National Health Commission detailed a series of regulations and work plans that can be summarized as "one shall not" and "four strict prohibitions" as a latest effort to fight against job discrimination against recovered COVID-19 patients, Zhang Ying, director of the employment promotion department of the ministry announced during a press conference held on Thursday. 

According to the notice, the "one shall not" refers to the ruling that any employer or individual shall not illegally check other people's nucleic acid testing results except for purpose of scientific and reasonable nucleic acid tests arranged and testing results checked for the purpose of epidemic prevention. 

Meanwhile, any job recruitment information that contains content discriminated against recovered COVID-19 patients will be prohibited from being released, the notice stipulated. 

Besides, choosing to not recruit recovered COVID-19 patients with the excuse that they had positive nucleic acid testing results in history will be prohibited. 

Any discrimination against recovered COVID-19 patients during the progress of recruitment and employment will be prohibited. 

Arbitrarily firing or dismissing those who have recovered from COVID-19 will be strictly prohibited, the notice said. 

According to the ministry, any employer or human resource service provider who violate the regulations will be summoned by the human resources and social security departments and health departments with their offensive behaviors exposed to the public and administrative punishment exerted. 

The urgent notice is the latest move of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to step up its crackdown on job discrimination against recovered COVID-19 patients following a public outcry for equal employment rights for the recovered patients who were reported by media outlets to be struggling to find jobs after highly transmissible Omicron hit the financial hub Shanghai. 

The ministry and the National Health Commission stressed in the notice released on August 1, pointing out that mobile apps, such as health codes, have been improperly used by some recruiters and employers as tools to check job applicants' history of COVID-19 infection, and discrimination against the recovered patients has severely violated workers' rights and interests to equal employment.

Before this notice, the ministry and China's Supreme People's Court released a joint notice on August 16 to reiterate the prohibition on the job discrimination against recovered COVID-19 patients and make arrangements to strengthen the trials of cases related to employment discrimination. 

According to the joint notice, employees can file a lawsuit with the people's courts against employers who exert job discrimination and arbitrarily check job applicants' nucleic acid testing results, on the ground that the employers have infringed upon their rights of equal employment or rights and interests of personal information. 

The people's court should improve the efficiency of judicial protection, and quickly handle, conduct quick trials and work out quick conclusions on the premise of ensuring justice. 

Besides, the people's courts should conduct investigations and collect evidence proactively upon employees' requests. 

China's Supreme People Court had made it clear in July to prohibit job discriminations against recovered COVID-19 patients in its next phase of its work. 

Global Times

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