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Government Extension of Public Holidays Policy due to Corona Virus

Due to the ongoing Corona virus situation China has implemented a variety of preventative countermeasures, ranging from an extension to the Spring Festival holidays to the mandatory quarantine of individuals who have visited Wuhan and the extended Hubei province.

The extension of the Spring Festival to February 3rd is an extension of the statutory holidays and therefore should be paid accordingly. In Shanghai there is an additional extension in place from February 3rd to midnight on February 9th, this additional extension is not a public holiday however but should be considered a rest period. During this rest period employees can not be obligated to come to work, and if they’re requested to work from home they shall receive overtime salary or holiday days in lieu as per Chinese labour law.

It may be possible that there will be makeup weekend days throughout the year to compensate for the disruption, however this is unclear.

According to the Ministry of Social Security and Human Resources;

Employees who have or are suspected of having pneumonia from the corona virus, and those in close contact with it, during the period of isolation and treatment or medical observation, as well as those who are unable to work normally as a result of government quarantine measures or other emergency measures, the enterprises shall pay their salaries for this period and must not end their labour contracts on the basis of articles 40 and 41 of the Labour Contract Law.

If a labour contracts is concluded during this period, it must be appropriately extended them until the completion of the employees’ medical treatment, medical observation, isolation period, or the completion of the emergency measures imposed by the government.

Where enterprises experience production and business difficulties due to the impact of the epidemic, they may consult with employees to reach an agreement on adjusting salaries, work rotations, reducing work hours, and other methods to maintain positions, avoiding or minimizing layoffs as much as possible. Where enterprises stop production during a pay period, the enterprises should pay salaries as provided in the labour contract. Where it is for longer than a pay period, if employees provide normal labour, salaries paid by the enterprise must not be lower than the local minimum wage standard. Where professionals do not provide regular labour, the enterprises shall issue living allowances at a standard provided for by provinces’, autonomous regions’ and directly-governed municipalities’ measures.

We are monitoring the situation and government announcements and will provide updates as they emerge.

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