Call for heat allowances |
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Call for heat allowances

Published on Friday, 09 Jul 2010
Construction workers brave the heat in Henan.
Photo: EPA
Foreigners who have lived abroad are more creative.

As the heat wave bakes most of the mainland, labour experts are calling for diversified allowances to guarantee the health of outdoor workers.

Heat allowances are not compulsory and are unlikely to be provided for migrant construction workers, says Lu Xuejing, a professor of labour economics at Capital University of Economics and Business.

"The government should issue regulations protecting outdoor workers' health, [as] extreme weather is becoming more common," she says.

Employers can also reschedule shifts for cooler times of the day, shorten working hours and provide heatstroke-prevention medication, she adds.

Lu's call for a relevant law to be passed has been echoed by Wang Yazhi, director of the labour protection department under Hebei Provincial Federation of Trade Unions.

The only regulation protecting workers labouring in extreme heat was passed in 1960. In 2007, four ministries issued a notice saying employers should pay allowances to those whose work environment exceeds 35 degrees Celsius. But few places have adopted these guidelines. Xinhua 


Firms face hiring difficulties  

Companies in Hong Kong are facing difficulties in hiring the right candidates, a survey by a recruitment firm has revealed.

According to a report by Ambition, the toughest challenges are: a lack of qualified candidates (57.2 per cent), salary inflation (42.8 per cent) and increased turnover (40.6 per cent).

Guy Day, managing director, Asia and Britain, of Ambition, says high-calibre individuals have been able to secure multiple job offers, and this has pushed up salaries as firms compete for top candidates.

"Employers need to be increasingly flexible about their requirements. They have to move quickly on good candidates so as not to risk losing them."

The survey of 456 hiring managers and human resources professionals found 73.1 per cent of respondents received salary rises this year and an annual bonus for the last. Salary increases for more than 41 per cent of respondents range from 1 to 3 per cent, while almost 30 per cent received a bonus for last year that was 5 to 10 per cent of their annual salary. 


Living abroad sparks creativity  

People who move abroad tend to be more creative than those who live in their home country, The Daily Telegraph reports.

According to the study, published by the American Psychological Association, creativity levels are unlikely to be high in people who have travelled abroad for a short period of time. The study shows a positive correlation between entrepreneurship and creativity.

Professor William Maddux, lead author of the study, says: "There are a lot successful businessmen in the United States who came from abroad, or have worked abroad for some time. Whether it's in solving a corporate dispute, or coming up with a new project, living abroad seems to help people approach ideas from different and innovative ways."

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