Chongqing social security bureau fails to provide employee with social security – for 11 years

07 April 2011
According to Chinese law, employers and employees must make contributions to three social security funds; a basic pension, a basic medical insurance fund and an unemployment insurance fund. In addition, employers - but not employees- must contribute to work-related injury and maternity insurance schemes.

If an employer violates the law by not providing an employee with any kind of social security, the employee should go to their local labour and social security bureau and ask them to sort the problem out.

Consider then the case of Gu Jianqing, who has worked for 11 years without a single social security contribution from his employer, the Jiulongpo District Labour and Social Security Bureau in Chongqing. Who does he turn to?

The answer it seems is the Chongqing Evening News, which named and shamed the bureau on 6 April and apparently got Gu his rightful pension.

The newspaper described how Gu started work at the social security bureau in 1999, mainly as a doorman but occasionally as a window cleaner and janitor as well. His salary in the first few years was just 350 yuan a month. In 2005, the social security bureau merged with the labour bureau. Gu went to work at the labour bureau but was paid by the social security bureau.

As the years went by, he started to think about his retirement and began paying into a pension fund. But when he asked his employer for their contributions neither of the two bureaus accepted responsibility for payment.

The newspaper also talked to Gu’s colleague, Mr. Yuan, who had been working as a security guard at the social security bureau for six years. Mr. Yuan confirmed that apart from their wages, employees got no social security benefits at all. Moreover, he pointed out: “My monthly salary is just 800 yuan, not even the legal minimum wage.” As of 1 January this year, the statutory minimum wage in Jiulongpo district was 870 yuan per month.

After the Chongqing Evening News asked for a response from the labour and social security bureau, Gu got a phone call from a “responsible person” at the bureau saying it would “resolve his problem as soon as he went to work the next day.”
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