Management of Labor Relations in Mainland China in the Post-COVID-19 Epidemic Period

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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

Written by Galo Rodrigo, Latin Department, CW CPA