What to look out for in your Contract as an employee in China?


So today, let’s look at what to look out for in your contract. So you have passed your interview and you have been sent a contract to review and sign. What are the things you need to look out for in your contract?

1. Basic Information of The Employee as Well as The Employer.

Name, address, name of the legal representative or a senior manager.

Basic information about the employee (name, address, identification number);

Commencement date and the term of the contract;

Description of the job and the location where it is to be implemented

2. Salary.

You need to check out your salary and make sure it’s clearly stated if it’s before tax or after tax. Simply stating the salary isn’t enough as some employers will send you your salary after tax, while some will require you to pay income tax according to Chinese Law (read on it).

3.Working Days and Hours

The legal working time in China is 8 hours/ day and 40 hours/week. Try to clarify the overtime working schedule and payment if you are asked to work overtime or on weekend. In China, we work 22 days a month.

Under China's standard work hour system,

Extra hours worked on weekdays should be paid 150% of the hourly salary;

Extra hours on weekends should be paid 200% of the hourly salary;

Extra hours on public holidays should be paid 300% of the hourly salary.

4. Accommodation Provision:

The contract should state the arrangements for accommodation provided or not clearly. Will you be arriving to a paid private apartment or will you be receiving a separate accommodation allowance (in which case you have to bear the cost of initial rent upon arrival which is usually 3 months’ rent). This is very important for young people coming to China. Most of them your first paycheck only comes after 30 days of work.

5. Insurance

It is the responsibility of your employer to provide you with full medical and accident insurance while in China. This is a requirement by Chinese Labor laws and it should be clearly stated in your contract.

6. Terms of Termination of Contract

Usually both parties have a right to terminate a contract before its end, there are usually laid down rules for this, usually a notice of between 30-90 days by either party looking to terminate a contract. So look out for this, as you may need to activate this clause.

7. Flight Reimbursement

Do you have a flight reimbursement bonus? What are the conditions for this reimbursement? When is it paid? What documents do you need to submit to get it? These are important things your contract should lay out.

8. Sick Leave & Personal Leave days

How many sick leave days are you permitted to have in a year? Are they paid leave days? What documents would you need to back up a sick leave request? How many personal leave days are you entitled to in a year (Usually unpaid), what is the procedure for taking your personal leave days? Your contract should say this.

9. Holidays

How many days of holidays do you have in a year? Are they paid holidays? This should be clearly stated in your contract.

10. Work days

Your contract should state exactly how many work days you will be having in a week and how many rest days (Typically it should be 5 work days and 2 rest days in a week).


According to Chinese Labor Laws, a contract can only be revised with the express consent of both parties once it is signed, so don’t let anyone bully you into changing the terms of your signed contract without your consent. If you are working on a Z Visa, you can report any irregularities to the local SAFEA (State Authority for Foreign expats Administration) Office or PSB (Public security office).

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