"Governments at all levels, State-owned enterprises and government-affiliated institutions must under no circumstances incur wage arrears to migrant workers," Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on Dec 4.
The meeting adopted a regulation on ensuring wage payments to migrant workers to resolve the problem of wage arrears, which clearly defines the primary responsibility of employers, the responsibility of local governments and the responsibility of regulatory authorities. It stipulates that wages of migrant workers must be paid in full and on time.
The Premier said migrant workers have made significant and unique contributions to the country’s development. They should be remunerated in full and on time for their hard work. Legal means are needed to promote the fundamental resolution of the wage arrears they face.
"Migrant workers are a disadvantaged group and salaries are their main income source, so we must not only provide them opportunities to work in cities, but also ensure that they get paid," the Premier said.
According to the draft regulation on wage payments to migrant workers passed at the meeting, construction units should not start construction or get construction permits if not meeting the funding requirements.
And a blacklist of employers who delay paying migrant workers will be set up.
Those who refuse to pay wages in arrears may be subject to mandatory enforcement, and those who are suspected of committing crimes will be transferred to judicial organs.
"It is serious damage to the government’s image when migrant workers cannot get paid in government-invested projects, so we must resolutely stop that from happening," the Premier said.
He also urged local governments to make clearing of wage arrears a priority for government-invested projects, clarify responsibilities, and reveal major problems with serious punishment for those responsible.