A China labor contract has to contain the terms and conditions set by the employer relating to the weekly or monthly number of working hours, the probation and termination period, overtime payment and holidays and other details, such as salary or the exact title of the job. An employer can set his own conditions and particulars but they must not fall below the minimum requirements of the Employment Act. Before the recruitment, foreign business owners in China have to seek for the professionals’ (China lawyer) assistance to draft a China labor contract.



Required Content of China Labor Contract

Article 19 of the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China defines the content required to be defined by labor contracts. Although they can contain other requirements and clauses, a Chinese labor contract must, at minimum, include the duration of the contract and a time limit during which the labor contract is in force. It must also define the job scope clearly and specify both labor conditions and labor protections. It must clearly state how much and how employees will be paid and must spell out disciplinary procedures for workers. Besides, it also has to clearly define when the contract can be terminated and specify liabilities for any contract violation.


China labor contract-Notice of termination

The usual period when a notice of termination has to be handed in by either the employer or the employee, depends on the duration of employment. If not stated differently in the contract, the periods according to which the notice of termination is related are:

1. Employed for less than 2 years (4 weeks’ notice)

2. Employed for 2 – 5 years (6 weeks’ notice)

3. Employed for more than 5 years (8 weeks’ notice)


Probation period of China labor contract

During the probation period, which is set individually by the employer, the employee can be dismissed without notice. The same applies to termination on the side of the employee. The probation period is usually between 1 to 6 months and the dismissal has to be justified. If a dismissal on the side of the employer is given after this period, and it is not due to the employee’s misconduct, the latter is entitled to layoff benefits. The basis on which the amount of days paid is calculated, will be the same as that for the probation period (employed for less than 2 years/from 2-5 years/for more than 5 years).


Labor contract plays an important role in the management of the companies, thus it is advisable for business owners to place significant emphasis on it. It is therefore necessary to seek China lawyers for help since they have a good knowledge of China labor law.


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