If your business is an employer in China, you’ll want to make sure your staff are being cared for while your business interests are being preserved and managed. It’s critical that you’re fully informed about the contractual HR and risk management implications. Hawksford is actively supporting clients with contractual provisions and guidance with regard to coronavirus. Below is a summary of the most frequently asked questions for our clients and others seeking guidance so that you can make the most suitable provisions for your staff and operations at this challenging time.
Any enterprise seeking to resume work before the government advised dates is obliged to file an application of work resumption to the relevant authorities in China, namely the PRC State Council and local municipal governments, and explain their reasoning.
Revised Lunar New Year Holiday Schedules:
Yes. The purpose of the government’s proposal of postponement is to prevent the outbreak spreading further and to contain the virus as much as possible. The government encourages China-based businesses to maintain routine operations by enabling staff to work from home and to use teleworking/distance working technology where possible.
According to regulations, salary payments must be made on the day agreed in labor contracts and be paid one working day in advance in the case of public holidays or weekends. Those businesses impacted by the current epidemic should pay wages to employees as soon as possible after business resumes.
Yes, if an employee is requested to come to the enterprise during their extended holidays, or to work from home, they shall get compensatory leave or 200% overtime pay under the standard working scheme.
Businesses must pay salaries as normal to any employees restricted by the isolation period or not able to resume work on time due to issues like sealing off cities or transportation problems. Businesses should not dismiss employees in these circumstances based on Clause 40 and Clause 41 of the Labor Contract Law. Enterprises should also extend employee contracts until medical treatment is completed if the contract was due to expire during the treatment period.
There is no policy from the Chinese government regarding this as of yet. If there is no clear mention regarding this in the enterprise staff handbook, marriage or funeral leave should be extended.
Home visiting leave shall not be extended in this case. This is also applicable to maternity leave.
It’s advised that employees should be extra cautious when it comes to self-protection; avoid crowded public places and take effective measures to prevent infection. It’s strongly advised that employees actively cooperate with local communities and inviting entities in taking preventive measures, abiding by relevant laws and regulations and following instructions from public security organs, immigration authorities, and hygiene and health authorities.
Companies should implement security measures that all staff should respect when working in the office, which means constantly monitoring the temperature of staff, giving guidelines about hygiene practices and collecting information about places staff have recently visited.
Hawksford’s Chinese and international teams are actively supporting clients in relation to the coronavirus outbreak and the related implications to business operations. With a comprehensive understanding of your business in China and Hawksford’s commitment to serve you in your best interests, Hawksford can assist you with the following HR and legal consultancy aspects:
Francesca Scortichini, Associate Director of Account Management China at Hawksford says: “Although it’s difficult to predict the size and duration of the consequences of this epidemic, in our view companies should adopt a long term strategy as China is a long term growth market that will recover stronger than ever as soon as the outbreak is defeated. In other words, companies should not stop looking at opportunities and invest in what will make them stronger tomorrow. In this difficult time Hawksford is closer than ever to our clients and available to support and advise them in how to win in this challenge.”
In this extraordinary situation, companies may need to adopt several measures to embrace sudden and new challenges, such as handling the reactions of employees, clients and suppliers. However, in our view, they should not lose focus on the market and should keep investing and seeking opportunities while minimizing the fixed costs in the short run. If you’re already based in China or are planning to enter China, we can assist you at this difficult time in different matters by providing you with various outsourced and tailor-made solutions regarding accounting, tax and HR. Our aim is to offer services at the best value for money, to make procedures faster and to make sure that your enterprise complies with local standards in China.
Hawksford is an established provider of company registration and outsourced corporate services in China. With 100 multilingual professionals based in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, we are able to offer the very best local knowledge to our international clients.
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