Pollution pay for ex-pats working in China

by Human Capital13 May 2014
“Hardship allowances” may be nothing new for expats working overseas, but Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is believed to be the first international company to pay expatriate staff in China more money to compensate for the country’s air pollution.

Although a company spokesman confirmed the pollution pay plan, he would not give further details such as how much the workers would be paid or how many expatriates were employed in China.

The move is part of a wider deal reached during Japan’s annual labour talks, according to the Agence France-Presse.

A Panasonic document from the talks said, “As for the premium for expatriates to compensate for a different living environment, the company will have a special review for those sent to Chinese cities.”

Almost all of China’s major cities fell below national air quality standards last year, with only three of the 74 monitored cities making the grade.

According to a count by the US embassy in Beijing, levels of PM2.5, the particles that penetrate the lungs and have been linked to premature death, have reached more than 400 micrograms per cubic metre which is more than 16 times the World Health Organisation’s safety guideline of 25 micrograms.

Quartz has released a list of the 10 most polluted cities, based on the amount of airborne particles less than 10 micrometres in diameter per cubic metre of outdoor air.

Top 10 polluted cities
  1. Ahwaz, Iran
  2. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  3. Sanandaj, Iran
  4. Ludhiana, India
  5. Quetta, Pakistan
  6. Kermanshah, Iran
  7. Peshawar, Pakistan
  8. Gaborone, Botswana
  9. Yasouj, Iran
  10. Kanpur, India


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