If you are an employer in China, you need a well-written China employment contract and a China-centric set of Rules and Regulations (a/k/a employee handbook). Since China does not have employment at will, well-crafted rules and regulations setting out your employment terms are critical for being able to discipline or terminate an employee. But the need to have written Rules and Regulations goes beyond that.
it is not uncommon for an employer to meet resistance from its employees when it first tries to implement its rules and regulations. Our China employment lawyers have heard all sorts of explanations from Chinese employees as to why there should be no rules and regulations, with the following three probably the most common:
- “None of my previous employers had employer rules and regulations and they never had any trouble.
- “Everything has been good here so I don’t understand why we need them now.”
- What, you don’t trust us employees?
If you want to protect your company (and even to a certain extent protect your employees), you need a set of rules and regulations.
One way to get past employee resistance is to emphasize how they too will benefit from the clarity and protections the rules and regulations will provide. This document should not only set out the rules and regulations related to employee discipline and terminations, it should also detail employee rights and benefits. For example, if your company has a vacation program, the rules and regulations should explain how that program works. If your company has a system for rewarding employees for good work, that should be covered too. If your China company gives employees paid or unpaid leaves, that should be in there too. Clear and logical and practical rules that work for your specific locale will benefit both sides.
We are often asked what foreign companies can do to attract talent in the Chinese job market. One of our answers is to have employer rules and regulations that evidence they are good and law abiding employers.