July 23rd, a Seminar on Labour Contract Law Contract and the Supply-Side Reform was held at Unirule Beijing Office. Several esteemed scholars attended this seminar, including Professor Steven N. G. Cheung; Professor DONG Baohua from East China Normal University; Professor LI Shi from Beijing Normal University; Professor LI Lingyun from East China University of Political Science and Law; Professor Ningyue from CASS; Professor SHENG Hong, Director of Unirule; Professor TIAN Silu from Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology; Mr. WU Si, President of Unirule; Professor Qinsidao from CASS; Professor ZHU Junsheng from Capital University of Economics and Business; Mr. ZHANG Xianmin from Shanghai Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security; Mr. LIU Xinlin from Center for Social Security Studies; Mr. GUO Wenlong from the Intermediate People's Court of Shanghai; Mr. TANG Dajie from China Entrepreneur Institute; and paper contributors to this seminar along with journalists, students, and Chinese businessmen.
Professor Steven N. G. Cheung sent a video presentation to this forum. He used an example of everyday life to illustrate how the current labour law violated people’s freedom to choose and come into contracts. And the very reason people came into contracts with each other was to lower transaction cost. This is where the current labour law fails, that is not to allow contracts entailing lower transaction cost, but coercing people to get into contracts of higher transaction costs.
Professor DONG Baohua pointed out several imbalanced aspects of the current labour law, one of which is the stipulations on laying people off and resignation. He illustrated this issue by reviewing how it came into being and introduced the formation and evolution of this institution. He thought the legislation of a state in surface concerns a lot about voting by showing of hand, but in fact it is more about voting with feet. As there are so many flaws in the legal system, more and more people would seek better opportunities for themselves by moving out of the state.
Professor SHENG Hong and Professor Ningyue thought the efficiency of a market depended on whether contracts could be reached voluntarily and freely. They emphasised the importance of the freedom of contract.
Professor ZHU Junsheng drew on Armatya Sen’s theories and talked about justice in the labour law. He thought the law was forming a barrier for labour to move freely in the market, and it was not fair for the workers.
Other experts also expressed their views on the current labour contract law. The seminar closed with presentations of the selected papers.