Several Chinese companies are temporarily hiring — or “sharing” — employees from businesses that haven’t resumed operations or are only partially operating due to concerns over the novel coronavirus epidemic. The so-called shared employees, known as gongxiang yuangong in Chinese, are being hired by supermarkets, e-commerce platforms’ retail stores, and other companies or factories to ease the workforce crunch.
According to domestic media outlet National Business Daily, more than 3,000 new employees had joined Hema as of Feb 19, while over 4,000 people had signed up for the “talent-sharing” plan under Suning’s logistics arm as of Feb 21. The American supermarket chain Walmart has also joined in the trend, hiring more than 3,000 temporary workers from other sectors to work at its branches in cities like Beijing, Fuzhou, and Shenzhen.
Bike-sharing company Hellobike has opened 8,000 positions nationwide for bicycle maintenance, according to state-owned Xinhua News Agency. In Hefei, capital of the eastern Anhui province, Hellobike is seeking 300 temporary workers, while 40 employees from a local hotel have started working at an industrial park on one-month contracts.
中南财经政法大学数字经济研究院执行院长盘和林指出，“共享员工（employee sharing）”在暂时劳动力过剩的传统餐饮业与暂时劳动力紧缺的新兴电商零售平台之间激发了劳动共享，传统餐饮企业、电商零售平台和员工三方都解了燃眉之急（address the pressing need of traditional catering enterprises, e-commerce platforms and workers）。
Yao Junchang, a lawyer with Beijing Weiheng Law Firm, told Workers’ Daily that companies hiring temporary workers should include detailed provisions in their agreements, including the duration of employment, salary and policy for work-related injury compensation.
“At the same time, the companies lending the employees should sign a complete secondment arrangement, pay employees in full, and pay social security on time,” he said. “Employees should pay more attention to safety precautions and require a tripartite agreement or labor agreement to be signed during the temporary employment period and keep records as evidence.”