Employment Contracts in China

Information about job contracts in China and what they should include...

All foreigners coming to China to work must have an employment contract in order to obtain their Work Visa (Z Visa). The terms of the contract are normally negotiated between the individual and the employer before the official contract is drawn up. The document is written in Chinese. An English version can be requested too, but the Chinese version is the binding document in the event of a dispute. Contracts should state:

  • Names and addresses of both employer and employee
  • Salary
  • Hours
  • Description of duties
  • Work location
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Benefits (such as housing assistance, school fees and relocation fees)
  • Start and expiry dates
  • Any other terms (such as notice periods and overtime policies)

Contracts need to be officially stamped by the company in order to be valid. In general, contracts last for one year, with a probationary period of three months. Employers then have the option of renewing the contract after expiry, or taking the employee on under an indefinite contract.

Maternity leave currently stands at three months for women under 25 and four months for women 25 and over.