Human Resources & Payroll

Navigating China’s New Improved Green Card Scheme for Foreigners

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Weining Hu

On February 6, 2017, the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (MPS) announced that it would launch a joint effort with 20 departments to assess methods to improve the practical utilization of foreign permanent residence cards in China. The MPS also confirmed that a new version of the foreign permanent residence card, also known as China’s ‘green card‘, will be available this year.

On the same day, President Xi Jinping held the 32nd meeting of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (the CLG), where senior Chinese officials approved a set of reform proposals, including a decision to upgrade the security and identification features of the new green card.

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Why HR Audits are Important for Foreign Companies in China

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Zolzaya Erdenebileg

Foreign companies operating in China are increasingly finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of undergoing an internal investigation or encountering a potential labor dispute. According to national statistics released by China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC), 2015 saw a sharp rise in labor disputes. New labor disputes, meaning disputes that arise during a contractual relationship between employee and employer, accepted by the Chinese courts totaled 483,311 – an increase of 25 percent from 2014. Labor service disputes, meaning disputes arising from “independent contractor” agreements with quasi-employment relationships, totaled 162,920 – an increase of 38.7 percent from 2014.

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Navigating China’s Temporary Driving License

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By Alberto Díaz

Driving in China can be a difficult road to navigate as using a license issued by a foreign country is not legal in the country. In addition, the country does not either recognize international driving licenses or any other documentation that has been issued outside Chinese territory. It is therefore essential for foreigners living in China to get through the application process for a Chinese driving license if they have any plans to drive a car themselves. This norm applies to all Chinese cities and provinces. Foreigners who wish to undergo the official examinations and apply for a Chinese driving license may find the procedures described here.

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Master of None: China Eases Work Visa Requirements for Master’s Graduates

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Harry Handley

China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has announced an easing of the work visa requirements for recent master’s graduates, hot on the heels of the unified work permit policy introduced in November. Essentially, this new policy is an extension of a scheme piloted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park for graduates from any of Shanghai’s universities.

The changes, which took effect on January 6, mean foreign master’s graduates from Chinese and ‘well-known’ overseas universities no longer need two years of work experience to apply for a work permit in China. In addition, they are also exempt from the points-based system used under the unified work permit policy. The initial work certificate issued will be valid for one year, but can be extended to up to five years once the relevant income tax has been paid.

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China’s Labor Market: Gaining Insights into HR Trends

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By Weining Hu

China’s labor market experienced several changes in 2016. Despite job demand cooling in the beginning of the year, China’s job market has been growing steadily since the second quarter. Average monthly salaries have also increased, particularly in first-tier cities. Understanding these developments not only helps existing investors keep up-to-date on HR trends, but can also inform long-term business decisions and minimize risk.

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Navigating HR Audits in China – New Issue of China Briefing Magazine

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HR Audit China coverThe latest issue of China Briefing Magazine, titled “Navigating HR Audits in China“, is out now and available to subscribers as a complimentary download through the months of December and January in the Asia Briefing Publication Store.

Contents

  • Why HR Audits are Important for Foreign Companies in China
  • Conducting a Successful HR Audit in China
  • Getting the Most from China’s Employee Handbook

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Q&A: Labor Disputes and Labor Law Compliance in China

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Labor disputes often arise due to companies underestimating China’s strict labor laws, or even being unaware of them in the first place. Keeping up to date with China’s labor regulations and taking the proper precautions to prevent any disputes from occurring can save employers immeasurable hassle and stress.

When companies first arrive in China, they are eager to hire staff and start their business operations. Unfortunately, this eagerness for hiring staff can lead to the company not taking the correct measures when drafting their employment contracts. Provisions that should be included in employment contracts that are often overlooked include proper overtime rules, codes of conduct, performance standards, promotion standards, KPI, etc. Ensuring that the contract includes all the relevant information will go a long way in clearing up any misunderstandings between the employee and the employer, and can prevent costly labor disputes from occurring. It is important to remember that in China, in the event of a conflict, the burden of proof always lies with the employer.

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A Complete Guide to 2016 Minimum Wage Levels Across China

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Mia Yiqiao Jing

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on May 26, 2016, and has been updated to include the latest regulatory changes.

Rising labor costs in China have been putting pressure on foreign investors in recent years, forcing corporations to either cut down staff size or relocate to other countries with cheaper labor. The annual rates of increase from 2011 to 2015, despite slowing down, have exceeded production rates by more than 200 percent and have significantly affected China’s investment climate.

Unlike the 12th Five Year Plan, which pushed an annual 13 percent increase for minimum wages across China, the 13th Five Year Plan addresses the need for more reasonable wage levels and introduces a controlled mechanism for wage adjustment. Through a much decreased growth of minimum wage levels and stable wage adjustments, the 13th Five Year Plan aims to improve the competitiveness of enterprises in China by shortening the wage difference with other developing economies, partly in order to create stronger incentives for foreign investors to remain in or enter China. Against the backdrop of these changes, here we provide a comprehensive list of minimum wages across China for 2016 and highlight some of the major changes to the Chinese labor market.

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