Last updated on: February 28th, 2022
The Labor Law and Labor Contract Law set the standards of employment in China. The central employment-related law in China is the Labor Law passed in 1994. A variety of other national laws and local rules cover such topics as employment contracts, benefits, social insurance, gender issues and trade unions.
The Labor Contract Law of 2008 tightened the rules governing employment agreements in an attempt to promote workers’ rights, and the government has taken some steps toward promoting collective bargaining and providing an explicit right to strike.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Employees are entitled to annual vacation as per the following criteria:
- With less than one year of work tenure – No leaves;
- With 1-10 years of work tenure – 5 days of leave;
- With 10-20 years of work tenure – 10 days of leave; and
- With over 20 years of work tenure – 15 days of leave.
If the employer does not allow the employee to take the annual leave (by the end of the current calendar year or anytime in the subsequent calendar year), and if the employee agrees to accept compensation in lieu of such accrued but untaken leave, the employer will be obliged to pay the employee 300 percent of the normal daily salary.
Employees may not take paid annual leave under the following circumstances:
- The employee is entitled to winter/summer holidays and the length of these holidays exceeds the amount of annual leave that the employee may have;
- The employee has taken paid personal leave for more than 20 days in that year;
- The employee has worked with his/her employer for more than 1 year but less than 10 years and has taken sick leave for more than 2 months in that year; and
- The employee has worked with his/her employer for more than 20 years and has taken sick leave for more than 4 months in that year.
Regulations on Paid Annual Leave for Employees, 2007, arts. 3, 5.
China does not have a statutory minimum wage for the entire nation. The minimum wage differs as per the local conditions of each province in China.
The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access this link for the current rates.
Female employees are entitled to a minimum of 98-day paid maternity leave including 15 days prior to childbirth (discretion of the employee). Leave may be extended by 15 days under special circumstances such as dystocia. If the employee gives birth to more than one child at a time, additional 15-day maternity leave shall be given for each additional infant. 15 days of maternity leave is offered in cases of abortion after a pregnancy shorter than four months, and no less than six weeks of maternity leave in cases of miscarriage/abortion after a pregnancy longer than four months. Maternity leave varies according to the location. Special Rules Concerning the Labor Protection of Female Employees, 2012, art. 7.
A female employee is also given at least one hour daily during work hours for breastfeeding during the first-year post-birth of the child. Special Rules Concerning the Labor Protection of Female Employees, 2012, art. 7.
The amount of time that a male employee can take as paternity leave largely depends on the locality. For example, in Shanghai, a male employee is entitled to 10 days paternity leave in the case of late childbirth, and in Shenzhen and Beijing, a male employee is entitled to 15 days paternity leave if his wife is 23 or older.
Sick leave entitlements vary according to provincial and municipal regulations. An employee suffering from illness or non-work-related injuries is entitled to a sick-leave period ranging from 3 to 24 months, depending on the number of years the employee has worked for an employer and his/her total years of work experience. Generally, an employee is compensated during his/her sick-leave period at 60 to 100 percent of his/her regular wage, depending on the employee’s seniority. Sick-leave entitlement does not have to be taken in a single installment. An employee may exhaust his/her leave entitlement at different times. Enterprise Workers Illness or Non-Work Related Injury Medical Period Specified, 1994, art. 3.
It is a paid leave entitlement granted to any employee who: 1) Is working in government organizations or state-owned enterprises; 2) Has worked for more than 1 year for that employer; 3) Does not live with his or her spouse or parents; and 4) Cannot visit his or her spouse or parents on a rest day. If the employee is to visit his or her spouse, such employee is entitled to 30 days spouse visitation leave once in a year. State Council, Regs. on Treatment for Employees Who Visit Their Relatives, eff. Mar. 14, 1981.
When an employee’s parent, spouse, or child dies, such employee is entitled to between one and three days of paid bereavement leave.
A number of cities in China are starting to introduce new leave entitlements enabling employees, who are the only children in their family, to take fully paid leave to care for elderly parents. Fujian, Guangxi, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, and Heilongjiang provinces have all issued similar paid leave regulations enabling employees to take off between 10 and 20 days per year to care for sick parents. Employees in Chongqing are entitled to up to 10 days of paid leave per year to take care of their hospitalized parents, effective March 1, 2018. Employees in Guangzhou are entitled to paid leave of up to 15 days per year to take care of parents older than 60 years old who are receiving treatment in a hospital, effective February 1, 2018.