Only three years ago any expat employee in China who disagreed with his employer had only two choices: 1) Quit without your last paycheck, or 2) Get fired and deported - without your last paycheck! So when the CFTU (China Foreign Teachers Union) petitioned the Minister of Labor and SAFEA back in 2012, people just laughed and mocked them, and understandably so.
But guess what? President Xi JinPing took office and declared that all "professionals employees" in China should have the same rights and protections regardless of citizenship. He further ordered the Labor Ministry and the Courts to strictly follow the "rule of law". People also laughed at Mr. Xi thinking he must be joking. But he wasn't. Here are the 15 employee rights we foreign expat workers now have in China...
1. You have the right to seek and obtain employment if legally allowed to do so after obtaining a work visa (Z visa) and resident permit.
2. You have the right to work in a safe work environment.
3. You have a right to be provided a written work schedule in advance.
4. You have a right speak with management about safety concerns
5. You have a right to sick, holiday, and maternity leave
6. You have a right to resign your position in accordance with the law
7. You have a right to request job training
8. You have a right to pay your taxes to the government authorities and to file a grievance with the Labor Arbitration Authority in your Province
9. You have the right to be compensated for overtime hours worked and may not be compelled to work said hours if not stipulated in your employment agreement.
10. You have the right to receive an original hard copy of your contract that is signed and chopped (red sealed) at the time you sign an employee agreement.
11. You have the right to receive a written job description prior to signing your
12. You cannot be compelled nor forced to do anything not specified in your job description.
13. Your probationary period cannot exceed one month for each year of your
14. You have the right to receive both an invitation letter and release letter free of charge.
15. If hired by a duly authorized employer you have a right to be provided a work visa (Z Visa) prior to commencement of your assigned duties.
Strange but true - miracles still happen in the world. A few teachers have already taken their employers and recruiters to court and have won over $360,000 of settlements. Nobody is laughing any longer and I suppose we owe the Prez a big "Xie Xie"
What are the downsides?