Organisations never stand still. Whether they are downsizing or expanding into new territories, change is now constant. In particular, in these unprecedented times like Covid-19, many of our clients are exploring solutions to enhance organisational performance and productivity, and to strengthen team capabilities. Therefore, CW CPA is partnering with Hewlett Rand to extend HR and Training consultancy support to clients through this period of unparalleled change.
Beyond the rhetoric for this critical period, there will be more actions, more engagements, more measures coming up to move our clients’ business forward. We all soldier on.
Hewlett Rand provides tailored support for HR, leadership and business development training to support organisational transformation. Including facilitation for strategic planning, management and sales training, team collaboration and supporting mental health and wellbeing, as well HR advice. In the current climate, a great deal of their client work has switched to virtual online training and consultancy via Zoom, which is proving popular with businesses that in geographically dispersed teams and remote home working.
Richard Lowe, Director of Training and Digital Learning Solutions said, ‘We’re absolutely delighted to partnering with CW’s China Consultancy Team who have a robust HR system and payroll proposition that we feel we can complement’.
Hewlett Rand can guide you through the process of change and transformation and help you to create a positive and productive working environment that brings out the very best in your people and your organisation.
Angela Tang, HR & Training Partner said, ‘As a commercially focused consultancy team, we’re keen to ensure that our HR advice and Training solutions add value to support businesses with profitable growth and to adapt to an ever-changing environment’
So, wherever you want to take your organisation, Hewlett Rand will help your leaders and teams to get there faster. Please take the time to review the blogs of Richard Lowe and Angela Tang. CW can help you connect with them if you are interested in transforming your workplace and boost the capabilities of your workforce.
Written by Richard Lowe, Director of Training and Digital Learning Solutions, Hewlett Rand
The Government of Hong Kong SAR has rolled out a HK$137.5 billion package of anti-epidemic fund measures, objectives of which include helping businesses stay afloat and relieving their financial burdens. While some of the measures were designed specifically for specific business sectors, some are widely applicable and do not restrict the industry types.
This article will showcase some of the funding schemes that may be of your interest.
1. Wage Subsidy
Under the Employment Support Scheme (the “Scheme”), the Government will provide a wage subsidy to eligible employers to retain the latter’s employees and pay up to 50% of employees’ salaries for six months in two tranches, capped at HK$9,000 per employee per month. The application process is separated into two rounds. In the 1st round, applications would be starting from 25 May 2020 and the subsidies for the first tranche for June, July and August would be handed out to employers within 3 to 4 weeks of an application. Employers are allowed to apply for subsidies based on wages recorded in one of the months between December 2019 and March 2020 at their own choice.
Below are two undertakings that employers receiving the first tranche of subsidy have to comply with:
- They have to spend the whole subsidy on the salary of their staff in June, July and August 2020;
- The number of people who receive pay in June, July and August 2020, cannot be less than the number of employees in March 2020 – no matter if they were paid or not paid at all in March.
If the undertakings are breached, the unspent balance of the subsidy will be clawed back or a penalty shall be paid according to the size of staff force and the extent of staff reduction.
Besides eligible employers, self-employed persons who have set up an MPF account on or before March 31, 2020 and with that account remaining opened as of the same date may apply for a one-off subsidy of $7,500.
2. Distance Business (D-Biz) Programme
The programme will provide funding support through fast-track processing for them to adopt IT solutions for developing distance business. For each IT solution and the relevant training expenses for staff, the funding ceiling is HK$100,000 (with funding for the relevant training expenses capped at 10% of the IT solution cost). Each company may receive total funding of up to HK$300,000 to perform a project to be completed within 6 months.
(i) For IT service providers
An IT Service Providers Reference List will be compiled to offer relevant market information for enterprise’ reference. The reference list is now open for application. Service providers, which provide solutions software or platform that support distance business operation, and/or provide services for the implementation of distance business solutions, are welcome to apply and enroll to such list.
(ii) For other businesses interested in adopting IT solutions
All private enterprises that commenced business in 2019 or before and have substantial business operations in the industry related to their proposed IT projects may consider applying. Applications are now open until late October 2020 and are assessed on a case-by-case basis. The assessment criteria include:
- Relevance of the proposed project to the applicant’s business
- Reasonableness of the budget
- Reasonableness of the implementation details
- Capability of Service Provider(s)
In addition to the above two schemes, the Government has also announced other measures covering specific types of industries such as legal, real estate, banking and finance, aviation, transport, sports, catering, tourism and construction, focusing on job creation, job advancement and provision of financial relief.
What CW can do for you
CW can assist our clients with the application of the above two schemes including
- gathering the supporting documents,
- preparing and submitting the application, and
- tracking the application status.
Written by Toby Wong, China Consultancy Team, CW CPA
The epidemic of COVID-19 in Mainland China has been slowing down. Before work resumption, you should know how to properly handle the situation from the administrative and human resources perspective. Special attention should be paid to the local administrative rules regarding the work resumption.
To answer some of the most common concerns, our CW China Consulting Team would like to draw your special attention to the following points:
- Related Government Documents:
- The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China issued the Notice on Properly Handling Labor Relations During The Prevention And Control Of Pneumonia Epidemic Of New Coronavirus Infection on 24 January 2020.
- The State Council of the People’s Republic of China announced on 26 January 2020 that the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival holiday would be extended to 2 February, across the country. The holiday week was originally from 24 January to 30 January.
- Guangdong Province and some other cities or provinces have formally required enterprises (except those organizations involved in providing basic services for residents and those involved in combating the spread of the virus) not to resume work prior to 10 February 2020.
- Labor Relationship:
- If the employee had already applied for annual leave prior to the announcement of the holiday extension, it is recommended to deal with this situation on the principle of benefiting the employee.
- If one of your employees gets infected with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and he/she is either at home or in hospital, by law they are classified as being under medical treatment, and your company is unable to terminate the labor relationship with this employee.
The labor contract between the employer and the employee shall be extended automatically until the medical treatment or quarantine is over.
Enterprises shall pay remuneration to employees during the above-mentioned period.
If the labor contract expires during this period, the period shall be extended to the expiration of the medical treatment period, the expiration of the medical observation period, the expiration of the quarantine or the termination of the emergency measures taken by the government.
- Some employees may be unable to return to work or may be unwilling to return to work. The company should review the statement or application provided by the employees. If it is reasonable, the company should allow the employees to self-isolate, and both parties can negotiate and arrange work at home, use annual leave, personal leave and other ways to deal with, according to the actual situation.
- An employee who is reluctant to return to work without reasonable cause is considered absent from work and should be dealt accordingly with the company’s employee handbook.
- If an employee has to take care of his/her children whose classes have been suspended or is pregnant considering that her health and safety will be in jeopardy, the employee and the employer shall negotiate in time to adjust the working hours, working methods, job duties, salary, etc.
- Allowance and Bonus Problems:
- For handling the payment of allowances and bonuses, the regulations in the employee handbook or the terms of the labor contract should be followed. In this regard, the clarification should be provided for allowances and/or bonuses that are fixed, or whether the allowance is based on the actual amount provided by the employees.
CW is glad to assist your company to prepare for the resumption of work. You need not worry about the administrative work involved. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Phenix Zheng of our China Consulting Team at email@example.com.
Written by Galo Rodrigo, Latin Department, CW CPA
How technology can help your human resources team save time and costs – Introducing our E5talent HR management platform
In the evolving world, technology has been playing a key role in corporate success. As an essential element of a sound corporate structure, an effective human resources function is increasingly utilizing specialized software and cloud computing. The era of paper documents and excel software is fading. To cater the growing market with technological proliferation, solutions have been developed by HRM service providers. Companies of various sizes, including yours, could benefit from these technological solutions:
- Integrating technology in HR management allows you to access data at any time and from anywhere across the globe.
Imagine that you are on the way home on a metro train and are suddenly asked by your boss to retrieve some data from the salary records of your subordinates. Are you going to go back to the office immediately? The answer was probably “yes” some years ago. With HRM software and solutions that are easily integrated with mobile apps, you are now able to access information pertaining to human resources records of your staff and yourself using your personal mobile devices. These records may contain attendance, leave applications and performance status. Simultaneous transfer of data among applications can also increase the transparency across various departments in your organization.
- Internal approval workflows become not only paperless, but also transparent and traceable instantly.
Automated processes of internal approvals are facilitated by HRM solutions. After your staff applies for internal approval in expenses reimbursements or leave, the information can be transferred to his/her respective manager or the human resources team directly. The approval trail is recorded with access logs. Exchange of paper documents is not required, and there is no delay of information relay caused by the mishandling of paper documents. If a procedure is stuck, you can immediately check its status online and find out whom you are going to follow up with, regardless of your location.
HRM Solutions for SMEs
While developing your company’s own software may be costly, CW offers a readymade cloud-based platform for users of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – E5Talent. E5Talent is an all-in-one system throughout Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Mainland China, and other Asia Pacific Regions with the following features:
- It enables personnel management, including payroll, leave application, and attendance management;
- Fully compliant with local statutory requirements, it is flexible in parameter setting and user-defined workflows for employee and manager self-service;
- It allows customized authorization process for each function, maintains access logs and generates audit trail reports. After all, nothing could be more important than safeguarding your firm’s interests.
The use of cloud technology enables you as a potential user to adopt modern HRM solutions at reasonable prices without the need to constantly upgrade or replace the systems by yourselves. Without the necessity of building infrastructure in your office, you can save huge upfront costs of installation.
You may pay monthly fees based on the usage, the number of employees, and the specific functions your company needs. With the help of the software, you may not need huge HR, and IT teams to manage the human resources and IT issues. You can transform their roles to boosting productivity and cooperating with external providers or deploy the human resources to other business areas.
Knowing the above advantages of HRM solutions, are you eager to adopt a suitable one for your China operation? Please do feel free to contact our CW team for a preliminary consultation.
Written by Toby Wong, China Consultancy Team, CW CPA
Six Punitive Measures to Watch Out When Hiring Foreigners Working in China
With the development of international business in China, more and more foreigners come to work in China. While they can take advantage of the enormous market potential, it is strongly advisable to deal with the hiring process involving foreign employers with discretion to avoid possible penalties. Below are some common mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.
- Invitation letter with false information
A foreigner applying for a visa is required to provide an invitation letter issued by an organization or individual in China. The organization or individual issuing the invitation letter shall be responsible for the authenticity of the contents of the letter.
Any individual who provides false information in an invitation letter for a foreigner shall be subject to a fine ranging from RMB5,000 to RMB10,000.
Organizations presenting false information in invitation letters shall be subject to a fine ranging from RMB10,000 to RMB50,000. The person-in-charge at the organization shall be punished pursuant to the penalty mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
Meanwhile, any illegal income shall be confiscated, and the offender shall be ordered to bear the traveling expenses of the invited foreigner.
- Refusal of presenting immigration documents for inspection
Foreigners who refuse to present visas, identification documents, residence permits for inspection shall be given a warning and may be subject to a fine of not more than RMB2,000.
- Failure to update residence permit
Registration items of a foreigner’s residence permit include name, gender and date of birth, purpose, residence period, date and venue of issuance, passport (or other international travel document number) and etc.. If there are any change(s) in any of the above items, the permit holder shall complete registration change formalities with the public security authorities within 10 days from the date of change. Offenders shall be given a warning and may be subject to a fine of not more than RMB2,000.
- Failure to complete registration formalities within 24 hours from arrival
Foreigners who are residing or staying in a residence other than a hotel shall complete registration formalities personally or through the accommodation providers with the public security authorities at the place of residence within 24 hours of arrival. Failure to do so shall render the offender liable to a fine of not more than RMB2,000.
- Working in China illegally (without work and residence permits)
Foreigners working in China illegally shall be subject to a fine ranging from RMB5,000 to RMB20,000. In more severe violations, the offender may be detained for a period of more than five days but less than 15 days and be subject to a fine ranging from RMB5,000 to RMB20,000.
Persons arranging for foreigners to work illegally in China will also be held responsible. For each illegally employed foreigner, the offender shall be subject to a fine of RMB5,000 but a total fine of not more than RMB50,000. Companies arranging for foreigners to work illegally in China shall be subject to a fine of RMB5,000 for each illegally employed foreigner but the total fine shall not exceed RMB100,000. Any illegal income shall be confiscated.
Persons or organizations who employ foreigners illegally shall be subject to a fine of RMB10,000 for each illegally employed foreigner but the total fine should not more than RMB100,000. Any illegal income shall be confiscated
- Engaging in activities inconsistent with the declared purpose of stay or residence
Foreigners engaging in activities which are inconsistent with their purpose of stay or residence may be ordered to leave China within a stipulated period. Foreigners who are being deported shall not be allowed to enter China within 10 years from the date of deportation.
We hope that the above tips can help you avoid unexpected violations of laws and regulations when hiring foreigners. Given that the rules and regulations in China with relation to employing foreigners can be rather complicated, to carry out the hiring process legally, seeking advice from local professionals is recommended.
Should you need any advice, please contact our visa team:
Ms. Jacqueline Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Written by China Consultancy Team, CW CPA
Recruiting in China – online recruitment platforms that work
In China, there were nearly 200 million people who searched for jobs online in 2018. To broaden their search, job seekers often tap on multiple recruitment platforms. In recent years, many online recruitment platforms have emerged as the market leaders by offering not only online recruitment, but also other human-resource related services. Some focus on particular industry verticals, such as technology and finance, or job seeker segments, like the younger generations and re-joiners in the labor force.
If you are an HR tasked with recruiting local staff in China or a start-up business owner looking for Chinese talents, you need to know the most effective and popular platforms that could offer the very specific niche that suits your business needs. Our Human Resources Process Outsourcing (HRPO) team has complied the following list to help you navigate through the all the various choices in the market.
- 51job.com (51job.com)
51job.com gives you access to a nationwide database of job seekers of nearly 200 Chinese cities. It also provides a number of other value-added HR services including training, professional assessment, executive search, and compensation analysis. 51job.com primarily targets white-collar workers between the ages of 20 to 35 and covers many different job categories, from professional and middle management positions to entry-level, clerical and hourly jobs.
- zhaopin.com (Zhaopin.com)
Zhaopin.com is a popular recruitment website focusing on hiring students, white-collar workers and high-end talents across different fields. Similar to 51job.com, it also offers other professional HR services throughout China. Posting a recruitment ad in Zhaopin.com is free of charge, which may be preferable to start-up companies.
- chinahr.com (Chinahr)
Chinahr.com is a comprehensive recruitment website under the world-famous recruitment network Saongroup. However, in recent years, Chinahr has become a less preferable choice due to the fierce competition in the recruitment market. Employers can still consider posting recruitment ads in Chinahr as an additional channel complementary to 51job.com and zhaopin.com.
- yingjiesheng.com (YJS)
YJS is an online recruitment website that focuses on graduates and students in China. If you are keen on hiring fresh graduates and training them from the basics, YJS can be a useful tool as it attracts many new highly educated, first-time workers. It has a large concentrated pool of young workers looking for opportunities to kickstart their career. Besides of recruitment, YJS is also a platform for on-campus talks, corporate visits, and recruitment fairs.
- 51jingying.com (Jingying)
Jingying targets much more experienced and highly skilled professionals. While traditional headhunting firms prefer networking in the offline community to scout for mature candidates, 51jingying addresses this segment of market by introducing an online platform where job seekers, headhunters or direct employers can access the online professional network built by Jingying, featuring mobile application with private communication channel and name card exchanging and scanning.
- lagou.com (Lagou)
Lagou specializes in the fields of technology and engineering. Employers seeking software developers, computer programmers, web designers, system administrators, data analysists and project managers will appreciate its niche in technology related positions. Lagou also provides industry insights, company profiles and user discussion forums.
- zhipin.com (BOSS Zhipin)
BOSS Zhipin is an active latecomer to China’s online recruitment market. Its selling point is that it offers job seekers direct chat engagement with recruiters by learning user behaviors. One can expect that such “fast food” experience is suitable for matching less experienced job-seekers with employers who wishes to find someone inconveniently and fast. BOSS Zhipin’s users are mostly “green-hand”, or inexperienced workers under the age of 24.
- liepin.com (Liepin)
Liepin is also a job seeker-employer match making platform that prides itself in applying artificial intelligence to match job seekers and business needs, hence reducing information asymmetry and recruitment costs. Liepin focuses on mid-to-high-end talents in China.
- 58.com (58.com)
58.com is the largest online marketplace serving local merchants and consumers in China. It is also a place where free lancers, entry level and blue-collar workers congregate. Similar websites include ganji.com, baixing.com, gongren.com, chinalao.com and 528.com.cn.
Certainly, there are abundant other recruitment platforms you can work with. For foreign companies operating in China, local hiring can be easy if there is a dedicated Chinese speaking HR manager who can undertake the whole process from writing job descriptions, posting on recruitment sites, interviewing and shortlisting to negotiating and issuing the offer letter. However, it is often the case that SMEs do not always have the adequate resources and time to work on bringing the right people on board. This is where CW’s HRPO team can come into the picture.
CW’s HRPO team offers recruitment services that focus on entry to mid-level positions. We believe that a successful recruitment is a fine-tuned process with an understanding of both your expectation and the characteristics of the current job market. With CW’s help, you can rest assure to achieve the following:
- Market benchmarking, requirement analysis
- Job analysis, marketing design, and descriptions
- Candidate sourcing or pooling
- Screenings and skills assessments
- Reporting and documentation
- Interview management and selection assistance
- Pre-employment checks
- Off-boarding, paper work and tax clearance
Do you need to hire someone in China? Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Written by Delilah Li, China Consultancy Team, CW CPA