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Work conditions in China

The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 785,986,113783,981,188770,950,792

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 76.12%76.02%75.88%
Men activity rate 82.91%82.85%82.76%
Women activity rate 68.93%68.78%68.57%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
For Further Statistics
China Statistics
Chinese National Bureau of Statistics
For Further Information About the Labour Market
ILO, International Labour Organisation

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
40 hours
Retirement Age
The retirement age is 55 for women and 60 for men.
Working Contracts
Legal provisions govern work contracts and collective agreements, but may be supplemented by individual negotiations. Formalities regarding employment contracts and recruiting conditions are strict, while dismissal constraints are rather flexible. There are 3 types of contracts: permanent contracts, fixed term contracts and project-specific contracts.
Labour Laws
Doing Business: China, to obtain a summary of labour regulations that apply to local entreprises

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
The minimum wage varies across the provinces. Currently, the highest monthly minimum wages are in parts of Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces, which have all surpassed the RMB 2,000 (US$289) mark. Shanghai continues to have the highest minimum wage in China, at RMB 2,480 (US$358) per month, followed by Shenzhen and Beijing, both at RMB 2,200 (US$318) per month. Among the lowest minimum wages are those in some rural areas: Liaoning (1,120 RMB/US$162), Hunan (1,130 RMB/US$163) and Anhui (1,150 RMB/US$166).

Consult China Briefing's 2020 minimum wage guide for more information.
Average Wage
The average monthly salary was 8,452 yuan ($1,228.38) in 37 major cities during the second quarter of 2019, with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen all topping 10,000 yuan.
NB: the average wage varies according to the provinces.
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers:

Contributions vary across the country and for different schemes. China’s Social Security System consists of 5 mandatory insurance schemes (pension fund, medical insurance, industrial injury insurance, unemployment insurance, and maternity insurance) and a housing fund (only applicable to Chinese employees). In Beijing, the employer's share of social insurance contributions amounts approximately to 27.8% to 29.5%:

  • Pension 16%
  • Medical expenses 10%
  • Unemployment 0.8%
  • Maternity 0.8%
  • Work-related injury 0.2% to 1.9%

Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees:

Contributions vary across the country and for different schemes. China’s Social Security System consists of 5 mandatory insurance schemes (pension fund, medical insurance, industrial injury insurance, unemployment insurance, and maternity insurance) and  a housing fund (only applicable to Chinese employees). In Beijing, the employee's share of social insurance contributions amounts approximately to 10.2%:

  • Pension 8%
  • Medical expenses 2%
  • Unemployment 0.2%
  • Maternity 0%
  • Work-related injury 0%

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
While worker protests and work stoppages occur regularly, the right to strike is not protected by law. China has not ratified core International Labour Organisation conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining. The enforcement of existing labour regulations is reportedly insufficient. The only trade union recognised by the Chinese Communist Party is the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). As independent trade unions are illegal, some claim that the ACFTU can be an effective voice for workers.
Unions
All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU)
Labour Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Employment

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Latest Update: June 2022

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