Beijing issues pay rise guidelines for this year

Updated: 2011-06-30 07:30

By Wang Jingqiong (China Daily)

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Beijing - Enterprises in Beijing are advised to give their employees a wage rise of about 10 percent and no less than 5 percent this year, according to a living cost adjustment guide issued on Wednesday by Beijing Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security.

The guide is intended as a basis for employers and employees to collectively discuss wage adjustments this year, but is not obligatory.

For those enterprises that are not making money the wage rise can be less than 5 percent or even zero, but wages should not be below Beijing's minimum wage, which is 1,160 yuan ($179) a month.

According to the bureau, the guide, based on the government's goal of macro-control for this year, is a means for the government to redistribute social wealth. It also stipulates that executives should not get a rise unless staff members do.

Statistics from the bureau show that the average salary in Beijing last year was 74,446 yuan a year, a 28.6 percent increase on that of 2009.

While for factory workers and service providers, the average annual income was 34,328 yuan, about a 7 percent increase. An equivalent guide last year suggested a wage rise of 11 percent and no less than 3 percent, while no guide was issued in 2009.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China also said that the minimum wage across the country will rise by an average of 13 percent every year for the next five years.

Employees welcomed the guidelines but worry that enterprises will ignore them.

"Such a guide is absolutely necessary, but to what extent will enterprises put the guide into practice?" said Yang Lei, an office worker in Beijing.

But with commodity prices rising, food is becoming increasingly difficult to afford, especially for those on low incomes.

Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the basket of goods in the nation's consumer price index (CPI), surged 11.7 percent in May from a year earlier and the CPI rose to 5.5 percent in May, well above the government's 4-percent target for the whole year.


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