Are you looking at creating employment contracts in China? We have lawyers in China that can help you. The point of employment contracts is to protect employees and companies. These laws apply to part-time and full-time employees. When you are starting a company, you need to be protected. You need to create a long document that your employees and contractors sign.
Your company can have employees sign away certain things. That might sound harsh, but it’s business. You should never hire someone without an employment agreement. The longer the agreement the better. Many people when they sign the agreement only look at a few things.
- How much pay are they getting?
- Do they get vacation and how much?
- Are there any bonuses?
Should The Employment Agreement Be In Chinese?
A lot of people reach out to employment law firms asking if the contract should be writing in Chinese? What about if the person signing is an English speaker? It’s a complicated question. The government has said that they prefer contracts in China to be written in Chinese. Why?
Because it makes things easier for the regulators and the courts to review them. Imagine if you are an employment regulator in the United Kingdom. What if you are sent an employment agreement in Russian? You likely cannot understand. You know have to hire (and pay) a translation agency. It costs money and time.
Employment Contracts In China
Each city in China might have their own policies. Our employment lawyers can assist with issues in Beijing, Tongzhou, and Shanghai. You can fill out the form on the side of this page. We will then take the information you send and do one of two things:
- Reach out to you to ask for more detail
- Forward your information to a lawyer in China who will call you or email you directly
For that reason, it’s better to supply more information. Be detailed and clear on where you are located, your budget, and what you need. Are you looking for the best Chinese lawyer? Or do you have a tight budget and you want a paralegal to do most of the work?
For example, in Shanghai, it’s required that the contract is in Chinese. You are allowed to have the contract translated into English or another language. However, the original copy must be in Chinese.
Employment Agreements In Shanghai
And it’s important to note that Shanghai is often very English and western friendly. Shanghai by far has the most people from foreign countries. There are a lot of Americans, Canadians, Australians, and British there.
If a copy of the contract is required to be in Chinese, and it’s in English, the Chinese court might just say there is no agreement. That is a massive risk!
If you have employment law questions, fill out the form on the side of this page. We have labour lawyers in China and Canada.
Employment Contracts In China (in Chinese)
If there are multiple language agreements, then have a clause in the English agreement that says that a Chinese version exists, and is the original copy. You want to reduce the chance of needing to go to courts in China.
It’s a good idea to have a copy in English so it’s easy for your managers from other countries to understand. Also, if your matter ends up being heard in another country, like Australia, it’s helpful to have an English contract.
Employment lawsuits are very common in China. They can even lead to criminal law problems. We have employment lawyers in Canada and China.
Labour disputes are greatly increasing in China. The reason is that there is more education about worker rights. I have seen construction workers welding without protective masks. There were also workers high up without any kinds of harnesses. A lot of people die in the workplace every year in China.
The data shows that this year there were 20% more registered complaints against employers in China than last year. If you operate a business in China or plan to, you need to have an employment lawyer. Of course, workers can take advantage of companies as well. Chinese companies must be protected from legal loopholes.
Employees in China | Employment Contracts In China
Foreign companies can especially get taken advantage of by Chinese employees. Law firms in Beijing and Shanghai are getting very busy with contract disputes. Many companies set up in China without having any understanding of Chinese employment laws. This is also the same situation when a foreign investment company invests in a Chinese company.
An employment law firm can create its own clauses that might differ from the default classes that the law set out. Most disputes happen when an employee gets fired. They then might ask for a bunch of money, like a bonus. If the employee does not get what they want, they might take assets or threaten to contact the government about something. This can lead to the company getting in trouble with the police.
The law says that a company must pay one month salary during termination for each year of employment. However, there are exceptions. This doesn’t happen if the employee quits. Some employees might try to get fired to trigger the payments. The employee doesn’t want to work anymore, might do something bad, get fired, and then sue the company. If they worked for four years, they sue for four months salary. This can be a lot of money for a company.
Protecting Yourself With Employment Law Advice
In the situation we just mentioned, the company will likely need to prove they wanted to keep the employee. Further, that they offered to renew the employee’s contract. The company will need to show that it was the employee that did not wish to renew the agreement.
When you expand to China via a joint venture or another business arrangement, employment law is even more complicated. Who is responsible for the employee’s rights? Do not assume its not your company. You could come to China and get exit banned until the employees get paid. What happens if your joint venture partner disappears? The government could say you are responsible for paying the employees. This could be an amount in the hundreds of thousands.
If you try to save money by not hiring a lawyer in China, it will likely cost you ten times as much. Employment contracts in China are important, and you need help.
You also might be responsible for a company that you purchased or took over. Even more important, if the employee worked for the other company for ten years, and then your company for one year, they are owed 11 months compensation. You are responsible for the amount of time they worked at the other company!
Employment Law In China
It’s very simple for employees to file a complaint, and to enter the arbitration process. However, it’s very expensive for companies to respond. The labour laws were created to protect employees, not employers. The news laws came out in 2008.
Author: Alistair Vigier, CEO of ClearWay Law China