The above symbol (xiào) refers to the concept of “filial piety” which values the respect for one’s parents. It’s a Confucian concept that runs strong in Asian cultures, especially China, which says that it’s the child’s duty to honor the parents by taking care of them in old age and by conducting one’s self properly so as not to bring shame on them.
In China, it’s common practice for workers to send a part of their salary back to their parents who live elsewhere. Yet despite the country’s soaring economy many families are having trouble making ends meet, so one company decided to send money to their worker’s folks for them.
The project started in a company affiliated with a consulting firm in Sichuan from last June. Currently, payments of 1,000 yuan (US$160) are given out to parents of all employees every three months, but the program should increase to monthly payments in the future.
The company hopes that by paying their employees’ parents for them, the workers can feel relieved from the stress of setting aside money when many of them can’t afford to. The chairman of the company explained:
“Many of today’s youth live check to check, with some so poor that they can’t afford to send money to parents. I want our employees to be able to think of their parents.”
However, there is a downside to the program. Along with the money a “report card” is sent to parents explaining your work performance to them, and there’s no escaping it.
Oh, your parent’s passed away? In that case they send the money and report to your in-laws, which is infinitely worse. Even if you break company rules and are penalized your parents’ payment, the company will send a message outlining “why your child couldn’t send you money this month.”
In spite of the report cards, employee and public reaction has been mostly positive. Chinese net users praised the program writing comments like “I wish my company had this.” However on commenter left a concern to give everyone pause, “Doesn’t it seem like this payment is a pretext for salary cuts?”
It shouldn’t be a big trick to screw workers out of money, otherwise the management would be shaming their parents and ancestors, thus violating xiào.
Source: NariNari (Japanese)