China Employment Law Network
Shanghai Business Lawyer
Section A: Hiring employees in China

• I have just set up a company in Shanghai, what procedure should I follow if I wish to hire a lot of local employees?

You could use a recruitment website to publish your recruitment information or you could use a head-hunter company to find and select employees for you. Once you have selected your employees, you must prepare employment contracts according to Chinese labor laws. However, if you wish to successfully tailor the contracts to your company, prepare clear job descriptions, employee hand books and confidentiality agreements etc, you need to understand Chinese Labor Law and have experience of how it is applied.  Therefore, we highly recommended you consult with your lawyer or come to us directly for help to draft your employment contracts and supplementary documentation.

• If employees are seconded to China, do they need a new Chinese employment contract?

They do not need a new employment contract. However the content of the existing contract should comply with Chinese Labor Law. This means that if any of the terms of the contract breach the provisions of Chinese Labor Law, those terms are invalid. If any of the terms of the contract are outside the scope of Chinese Labor Law, those terms are still valid and binding on both parties.

• Is it necessary to use agencies to hire employees? How can employers ensure that they retain control and that agencies act in accordance with their wishes?

    Unless the employer is a representative office of a foreign company, it’s not necessary to use agencies to hire employees. There are some situations when an employer may choose to use an agency, even though they are not legally required to, for example when they wish to hire many employees for short term or seasonal work.   


     The most important thing to consider when acting through an agency is the Agency Contract. It is the Agency Contract which helps to ensure that agencies act in accordance with the employer’s wishes and, through careful drafting of this contract, many of the labour related legal risks can be prevented.
      if you are considering using, or are required to use an agency and you would like our help, please contact us.


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