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Hiring Part-Time Employees in China – 7 Things You Should Know

Posted by: Mathilde Veyrat
Category: Business in China
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Part-time employment in China is becoming increasingly prevalent. It indeed offers an attractive alternative to full-time labor for both companies on the hunt for skilled professionals able to work under flexible arrangements. It also benefits employees looking to work fewer hours as they further their studies or seek a better work-life balance.

While legislation around part-time work in China remains limited, this article will help you get the hiring process right for this type of employees.

Take a look at some of our previous posts: China’s Labour Law: Hiring & Firing

Part-time Job Scope

It is important for any employer operating in the PRC to clearly understand what counts as part-time employment in China. Under China’s Labor Contract Law, professionals working no more than 4 hours daily, 24 hours weekly for the same employer are considered part-time staff. This applies to:

-seasonal jobs
-temporary jobs
-online jobs

Surpassing this threshold is likely to put your company in a difficult position if labor disputes arise. It is thus crucial to have a well-crafted employment contract.

Contract

Although Chinese law allows part-time employment relationships to be concluded orally, we strongly advise you to draft formal written contracts for part-time employees. This will clarify each party’s roles and responsibilities and avoid any costly labor disputes.

Just as with full-time staff, the contract should typically include specifics on the employment period, working hours, remuneration, terms of labor protection and working conditions.

Beyond the contract, employers hiring part-time workers should also ensure that their company handbook is up-to-date. It should for instance clearly state any policies or benefits that are only applicable to full-time staff. This includes annual leave policy, overtime payment, performance assessment procedure and confidentiality.

Q&A: Can my employee have 2 part-time jobs in China?

Article 69 of the Labor Contract Law stipulates that part-time employees may simultaneously enter into multiple part-time employment agreements. However, it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure he meets the requirements set by his first employer and doesn’t let any subsequent labor contract affect his performance.

Probation Period

Employers are not allowed to set a probation period under a part-time employment agreement.

Payment

According to the Labor Contract Law, part-time employees are paid on an hourly basis at a rate that must meet the local minimum wage requirements. You can check the most updated list of minimum wages across China here.

The payment cycle for part-time employees shall not exceed 15 days. For full-time employees, payment generally occurs on a monthly basis.

Social Insurance Contributions

While employers must make contributions to several insurance funds for their full-time employees, they are only required to cover the cost of work-related injury insurance for part-time staff.

Termination

Chinese law allows either party to terminate the labor contract at any time, without prior notice nor justification. In addition, employers are not required to pay severance upon termination of part-time employees.

Provisions for International Students

In August 2018, the Chinese Minister of Education announced it would allow foreign students in Beijing and Shanghai to take part-time jobs off campus. Previously, international students needed to have a proper work visa to work on the mainland, even sporadically. They can now legally intern in China provided they gain approval from their academic institutions and the administrative authorities.

In a Nutshell

Conclusion

While companies may need part-time employees to fit temporary staffing gaps or provide seasonal support, the hiring process should not be taken casually and deserves no less attention than for full-time workers.

As the sharing economy keeps rising, a growing portion of workers in China are moving away from traditional 9-5 jobs to enjoy the flexibility to work when, where, and as much as they want. We can expect legislation around part-time employment in China to evolve in the very near future as this type of work arrangement turns into a “new normal”.

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Author: Mathilde Veyrat

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