China Employment Law Network
Shanghai Business Lawyer
Section B: Understanding the employment contract

• Under a Chinese employment contract, what are the minimum statutory provisions relating to:

·         Maximum working hours per week

·         Minimum wage

·         Minimum holiday entitlement

·         Time off for sickness

• Maximum working hours per week: 8 hours per day; 44 hours per week
• Minimum wage: RMB1,280.00 in 2011 (Shanghai)
• Minimum holiday entitlement: employees may enjoy national public holidays and, in addition, annual paid leave of 5 days for individuals who have worked for more than 1 year but less than 10 years; 10 days for individuals who have worked for more than 10 years but less than 20 years; 15 days for individuals who have worked for 20 years or more.
• Minimum maternity leave: 90 days
• Time off for sickness: there is no statutory maximum or minimum time off for sickness.

• Is it true that only an employment contract written in Chinese is enforceable in case of a dispute?

No, that is not quite true. Actually the foreign language version of an employment contract is also enforceable, but when a dispute is brought to the China arbitration tribunal or court, the translated Chinese version will be required.

• Can an employer change an employee¡¯s employment contract without asking them? What can an employee do if they do not agree with changes to their contract?

An employer is not entitled to change an employee’s employment contract unilaterally except in special circumstances and there should be evidence to support the employer’s decision. If the employer cannot provide a fair reason for the changes, the employee may make a claim against them .

If you need any help with your case, our lawyers will be happy to provide you with their professional legal services.

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