Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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More Than 100,000 'Ghost Workers' Removed From Payrolls In China


(Photo : Reuters) High-rise buildings seen in Tangshan, Hebei province.

More than 100,000 phantom workers listed on government payrolls were eliminated throughout China.

The government has launched a campaign last year directed towards ending corruption in the country. The massive crackdown has removed a total of 162,629 ghost workers, in which Hebei Province had the biggest number.

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Ghost workers are people who are listed on government payrolls and get paid even without actually working. Hebei listed 55,793 ghost workers, reported People’s Daily. The report went on saying Sichuan eliminated a total of 28,466 phantom employees while Henan took down 15,022 ghost workers in the province.

Meanwhile, Beijing saw 531 ghost workers listed on payrolls and 327 of them have already been removed. The autonomous region of Tibet came out clean and no ghost workers were listed. There were also no listed phantom workers in Shanghai, People’s Daily said.

Regulations have already been created in some regions and provinces to address the issue. Provinces already said they would not tolerate phantom employees listed on government payroll systems.

People’s Daily said Nanchang, Jiangxi province already imposed a new policy, which states that officials would be removed from their office once confirmed of having two or more ghost staffers.

Regular audits were also observed in various provinces in China to permanently address the ghost workers problem. For instance, Guizhou Province has been conducting secret and notified investigations regularly. If an office has been found to have ghost staffers, those who are involved would have to pay back the salary of the ghost employee. Further punishments would also be imposed.

A government department would also be sanctioned after ghost workers are found listed on their payroll systems. Punishments include stripping the office its budget subsidy by five times the total salary the ghost worker has been paid off. Top leaders of every government department are also subjected to accountability review.

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