China

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in China. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

In China, employees can unilaterally terminate their employment contract by giving a written notice 30 days in advance (3 days in advance during the probationary period). Similarly, an employer can unilaterally terminate an employment contract by giving a written notice 30 days in advance or providing 1 month’s salary in lieu of notice if the employer and employee meet certain prescribed criteria in the labor code.

Work Permits

Foreign employees require an employment license (submitted by employer) before obtaining a work permit. Applications for work permits may be obtained at embassies and consulates and must meet the following requirements:

  • Z visas obtained prior to arrival
  • Applications need to be sponsored and submitted by a locally registered company in China.
  • Expats need to live and work in the same location as their sponsoring company.
  • Medical examinations from authorized hospitals (foreign or domestic)

Beijing requires foreign employees to have a non-criminal background check approved by Chinese authorities. In Shanghai, the medical examination may be obtained after receiving the Z visa and work permit. Employees apply for a work permit at their local labor bureau after arriving in China.

Work permits usually have a term of 1 year and never exceed five years unless certain conditions are satisfied. If the duration of a work permit exceeds 1 year, the employer must apply to the government for an annual check of the work permit at least 30 days before the term reaches a full year. 

Paid Annual Leave

According to China’s Special Rules on the Labor Protection of Female Employees, pregnant female employees are entitled to a minimum of 98 days of maternity leave, including 15 days of leave before childbirth. Many provincial governments have increased this minimum requirement by 60 to 90 days in accordance with the new Population and Family Planning regulations in China that do away with birth restrictions, allowing couples to have up to three children.

Maternity leave in China is paid. For female employees who have participated in maternity insurance, the subsidy is paid by the maternity insurance fund. If employees have not participated in maternity insurance, the subsidy is paid by employers based on the wages prior to maternity leave.

Working Hours

Under the Labor Law of China, employees cannot work more than 8 hours a day and 44 hours a week, on average.

Employers can extend working hours by 1 hour per day after consulting with the relevant trade union and employees due to production needs or business operation requirements. However, extended hours may reach up to 3 hours per day if the extension is needed for particular reasons, and the health of employees is guaranteed. The total extension in a month cannot go over 36 hours.

Maternity Leave

According to China’s Special Rules on the Labor Protection of Female Employees, pregnant female employees are entitled to a minimum of 98 days of maternity leave, including 15 days of leave before childbirth. Many provincial governments have increased this minimum requirement by 60 to 90 days in accordance with the new Population and Family Planning regulations in China that do away with birth restrictions, allowing couples to have up to three children.

Maternity leave in China is paid. For female employees who have participated in maternity insurance, the subsidy is paid by the maternity insurance fund. If employees have not participated in maternity insurance, the subsidy is paid by employers based on the wages prior to maternity leave.

Minimum Wage

There is no national minimum wage rate in China. Each of the country's autonomous regions, provinces, and direct-controlled municipalities sets minimum wage rates for its territory.  Most provinces set different classes of minimum wages in different districts, depending on the district's level of development and cost of living. Some jurisdictions adjust minimum wage rates every year, or every six months, although other jurisdictions adjust minimum wage rates less frequently.

For example, Shanghai's monthly minimum wage for full-time employees is CNY 2,690 (Chinese yuan), while the hourly minimum wage for part-time employees is CNY 24.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within China.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in China.