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China: Employee rights

Original and updating author: Huimin (Laura) Wang, Squire Sanders


  • For most employees, the statutory normal working time is eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees have no general statutory entitlement to a rest break during their working day (except in the case of nursing mothers) or to a minimum daily rest period between ending and recommencing work. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • There are no particular restrictions on Sunday working. (See Sunday work)
  • There are various rules regarding statutory annual leave entitlement for employees. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding employees and employees on maternity leave have various rights. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Employees have no statutory entitlement to parental leave. (See Parental and paternity leave)
  • Employees working for state-owned enterprises are entitled, at the employer's discretion, to paid leave of one to three days to get married, or to attend the funeral of a spouse, parent or child, and, in practice, this provision is generally applied to employees of all types of enterprise. (See Other leave)
  • Part-time work is defined by statute as a specific form of employment relationship. (See Part-time workers)
  • Fixed-term contracts are the most common form of employment relationship. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Legislation permits a form of temporary agency work, known as "secondment" or "labour dispatch". (See Seconded workers)
  • The transfer of a business or part of a business does not automatically entail the transfer of the employees concerned from the transferor to the transferee. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • The employment contract ends if the employer is declared bankrupt, its business licence is revoked, it is ordered to close by the competent government authority, or it is dissolved by an investor. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • Employers are under a general obligation to keep employees' personal information confidential. (See Data protection)