NPC deputies: 2.5-day weekends should be implemented nationwide
Wang Yutong

Overtime labor is a common phenomenon in big cities in China. Xiong Sidong, President of Suzhou University, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), conducted a survey of 2.5-day weekends in pilot cities for years. He believed that the result of the pilot provinces and cities was good and should be promoted nationwide.

Xiong believed that having vacations are the basic rights of workers, as well as an important manifestation of economic development and social progress. Globally, the more developed the economy, the longer vacation time citizens have. For example, there are 36 vacation days in the Netherlands, 36 days in Denmark, 37 days in France and 33 days in Britain.

"At present, in terms of statutory holidays and annual paid vacations, the number in our country is 16 days (excluding weekends), which is far below the level of developed countries. The average working hours per capita in 2018 were 2100 hours, which is much longer than those in other countries,” Xiong said.

Implementing 2.5-day weekends can improve people's quality of life by increasing choices of travel destinations, or having a longer time to reunite with families for those who work outside their hometown.

According to deputy Xiong, on August 11, 2015, the Ningxiang County Tourism Bureau of Hunan Province took the lead in the trial implementation of 2.5-day weekends in summer. Later, Shangrao City of Jiangxi Province, Jinzhong City of Shanxi Province also introduced the pilot policy of longer weekends according to local conditions.

At present, more than 10 provinces have set suggestions to encourage 2.5-day weekends, which have received favorable responses.

Xiong suggested that the policy of 2.5-day weekends be introduced nationwide. Local governments should strengthen supervision over the implementation of a longer weekend to ensure the rights of every worker to take vacations.