China Steps up Requirement for Construction Injury Insurance

China has announced that construction permits will now only be given to projects that provide their workers with injury insurance.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Administration of Work Safety took the decision in conjunction with the All China Federation of Trade Unions.

It is estimated that 90% of construction workers in China do not have contracts or insurance.

There are nearly 45 million people employed in China’s construction sector, including about 36 million migrant workers who are vulnerable to rights violations, said vice-minister of human resources and social security Hu Xiaoyi.

The government illustrated the issue by citing the case of Li Hongkui, who was hit by a falling object while working at a construction site in Beijing in 2012. He was kept in hospital for almost a month and could barely work afterwards but had no labour contract and was unable to claim compensation.

Li Dajun, an organiser of a migrant workers’ rights group, has visited hundreds of construction sites and said that nearly 90% of the workers do not have contracts or insurance.