China to implement 2.5-day weekend in summer

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Beijing, Feb 4 (IANS) China’s State Administration of Tourism is mulling over a new plan to create a two-and-a-half-day weekend across the country when the summer season starts, the media reported.

According to authorities, the idea is to give employees more family time and also stimulate tourism, the China Daily reported on Wednesday.

A number of provinces and municipalities across China, including Hebei, Jiangxi and Chongqing, have issued new policies, calling on companies to create 2.5-day weekends.

Under the plan, government institutions, state-owned companies, joint-ventures and privately-held companies are to be given incentives to allow their workers to take off at noon on Friday before coming back to the office on Monday.

The plan was announced in November 2015.

In adopting the policy, the State Council, China’s cabinet, says it hopes to create “favourable conditions,” to give employees more family time, as well as stimulate tourism.

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Under the provisions, a 40-hour work-week is still required, meaning employees who get a 2.5-day weekend are going to have to make up the hours somewhere else during their week.

A nation-wide, two-day weekend policy was first set into law in China in 1995.

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