China’s State Council announced on January 27 that the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival holiday will be extended to February 2 across the country; the holiday week was originally from January 24 to January 30. (The official notification can be accessed here.)
Meanwhile, local governments have been taking the lead in the respective provinces and cities:
The move to extend the New Year break has been expected as government and healthcare authorities double down on efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak by restricting public movement and large gatherings.
Postponing the end of the holiday from Friday to Sunday means people are expected to resume work starting Monday, February 3.
However, various businesses have directed their employees to work from home if they show signs of feeling unwell, or if they are returning from cities that are subject to transport restrictions or lock-down, or if they have had interaction with friends / family / relatives traveling from affected areas.
HR departments are advised to monitor for notifications from local governments regarding the implementation of city-wise policies or if any areas have to be quarantined. Open communication with all employees is also crucial to avoid any situation that promotes confusion or panic. Hygiene measures should ideally be stepped up.
Employees will be able to seek compensatory leave as per the country’s labor law if they have lost vacation days due to the prevention of the epidemic and performing other control duties.
Similarly, wages and salaries for lapsed or unused holidays will be guaranteed as per respective labor policies.
Finally, the start of the spring semester for colleges, schools, and kindergartens has been suspended. Separate notices will be issued by the Education Department on when institutions will reopen.
(This article was originally published January 27, 2020. It was last updated January 30, 2020.)
China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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