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Annual Leave in China

In accordance with Article 3 of the Regulations on Paid Annual Leave for Employees in China, issued by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on December 7, 2007 (State Council Order No.514), annual leave is allocated as follows: five days for employees with 1-10 years of service; 10 days for those with 10-20 years of service; and 15 days for employees with 20 years or more. Annual leave is granted in addition to national holidays and days off.


The right to paid annual leave serves the purpose of ensuring the effective recovery of psychophysical energies expended after a year of actual work, achieved through rest and a variety of activities carried out during free time to satisfy family, social, and recreational needs. In China, this right is contingent on the actual length of service and matures in relation to the continuity of the employment relationship.

This duration refers to the accumulated years of work in one's professional career and not with a single employer. If an employer is unable to schedule annual leave for an employee, the employer must compensate the employee three times their daily salary for each day of untaken annual leave.


Employers can extend paid annual leave as a benefit, but they are required to specify the additional days in HR documentation, such as the employee handbook.


Article 4 of the Regulation outlines specific circumstances in which employees cannot avail themselves of annual leave, such as extended sick leave or exceeding the number of annual holidays with winter and summer vacation. Employers have the flexibility to plan annual leave based on production and work needs. Generally, holidays cannot be carried over to a subsequent year, but specific production or work-related reasons may allow carryover if authorized.


Compliance with these regulations is ensured by the local labor safety department.


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