Some have raised the possibility of moving from labour dispatching to outsourcing. The Deputy General Manager of the Bank of China’s Human Resources Division believes that switching to outsourcing is only a change of form but not one of substance. In fact, the employing units still have to shoulder the human resources management costs for this group of people. But as long as unequal status for equal work remains, the move will do nothing for these workers’ sense of belonging and motivation.
So can the changeover of dispatched workers be properly tackled? The Bank of China has a positive answer, involving exploration and innovation. Its approach mainly comprises an adjustment to employment policy together with a tilt in resource allocation.
In October 2013, the head office of the Bank of China announced plans to implement the Labour Contract Law and readjust its management policy on dispatched workers, recognizing that the basic employment form in the bank is that of contractual worker. Dispatched workers will therefore be converted to contractual workers in line with the relevant rules, with no quota restrictions attached.
According to the rules, after the changeover, former dispatched workers will conclude a labour contract with the Bank of China and enjoy “equal work, equal pay, equal social protection, equal procedures, equal management” with other contractual workers. The 2 billion yuan (over US$ 320 million) human resource bill for improving the income and welfare of dispatched workers will be shared between head office and branch level.
Statistics show that since the changeover of dispatched workers, pay rises for Bank of China branch workers have been registered at more than two percentage points above the average level. “Thanks to the switch in status,” says Gao Zhaogang, General Manager of the Bank of China’s Human Resources Division, “these workers have boosted their sense of belonging and enhanced their motivation, which helps establish harmonious and mutually beneficial labour relations between the bank and its workers, together with their families.”