No overtime on weekends but 20% less salary

It’s true, say goodbye to compulsory overtime, but also to the salary supplement.

Employees at the parent company of TikTok and Douyin, ByteDance, are annoyed with an average of 20% less salary in August under an adjusted work schedule, first reported by Chinese media Caixin Global.

The pay cut is mainly due to the cancellation of overtime compensation. In early July, the company announced the end of its weekend overtime policy from August 1, two weeks after rival Kuaishou made a similar decision.

The weekend overtime schedule is known as “big-small-week” system and requires staff to work an overtime day every second weekend, with double pay on the overtime day.

ByteDance has been implementing this policy since its inception in 2012. The practice has since become common among Chinese tech giants.

On August 31, the first payday after the company announced the change in overtime policy, its employees discovered their wages had declined to varying degrees from the previous month. They quickly complained.

“I finally got the first general salary adjustment of my life at Bytedance, although it was an average decrease of 17%,” one employee said on social media.

“I got 20% less and immediately felt that the two-day weekends weren’t that good,” wrote another.


Chinese tech companies are canceling the required overtime. Employees want more

For many employees, dual pay is what attracted them to the company in the first place. Now, some fear that they will end up with the same workload with less pay and less time to complete their assigned tasks.

The news immediately raised the hot topic list on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo with netizens chatting. whether tech companies should pay compensation to their staff.

“Well, the working time is reduced, but the workload has not changed and the salary is also reduced” reads a popular comment under the subject. “Capitalists are capitalists. They won’t stop sucking your blood.

“You work less, so you get less pay. Is it difficult to understand? read another. “So those who were happy with the cancellation and are now getting less pay, how do you like a full weekend?” Are you going to ask for a return to the 996 overtime hours? “

The overtime practice of 996, working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week, is probably gone for good. China’s Supreme People’s Court said last Thursday that program 996 is illegal.

Chinese authorities have also released guidelines and examples on what constitutes overtime, in an attempt to tackle the long-debated practice 996 at many Chinese tech companies.

Cover photo via Glenn Carstens-Peters to Unsplash

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