While regulation and bureaucracy in China come as a shock to no one, foreign employers operating in the Chinese labour market are often surprised by how sophisticated China’s employment laws are. Despite their relatively recent development, aspects of employment regulation in China bear more than a passing resemblance to those found in western European countries, with regulated working hours and often complex requirements prior to terminating the working relationship. Yet many areas of Chinese labour law remain just that – distinctly Chinese, whether that be the significant role of the state in the employment relationship, or the vast differences in laws and their interpretation between China’s major urban areas and the rest of the country.
From understanding the hiring process and selecting the most suitable type of employment contract, to knowing how to navigate the local Labour Bureau and deal with employee dissent, the global business must familiarise itself with Chinese employment relationship if it is fully to maximise the economic advantages of operating in China.
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