Work and Wages

This page was last updated on: 2020-02-12

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is defined as the minimum labour remuneration paid by the employer required by law on the condition that the labourers have provided normal labour during the legal working hours or working hours agreed by the labour contract. Minimum wage will not include payment owed on account of overtime, special allowances paid by reason of a particular work environment or condition (e.g. shift duties, working in mines, working at high altitudes, etc), statutory employee welfare benefits, travel-related expenses, or protective clothing or equipment.

In accordance with the Labour Law, the state has to implement a system of guaranteed minimum wage. Minimum wage can be fixed by provincial, regional or municipal governments and is reported to the State Council for record. Labour Law requires that wages paid to the laborers by employing units should not be less than the local standards on minimum wages.

Minimum wages in China are determined region wise (for 31 provinces) and the highest monthly minimum wage is in the Shanghai region while the lowest minimum wage is in the Anhui region.  Minimum wages in different regions are determined and adjusted with reference to the following factors: (i) living expense; (ii) the average wage level in the society; (iii) labour productivity; (iv) employment situation; and (v) different levels of economic development between regions.

Enforcement of all labour legislation including minimum wage provisions is entrusted to the labour departments of the local governments. Individual works also have the right to file a complaint with a labour inspectorate or go for arbitration or litigation. A trade union may also supervise implementation of a law and reports violations to the labour inspectorate.

The Labour Contract Law provides that if an employing unit fails to comply with the provisions of a labour contract or provisions by the State and fails to timely pay a full amount of labour remuneration to a labourer; or  pays lower than the local minimum wage, the competent labour department should order the employing unit to pay the outstanding amount. If these payments are delayed, a compensation equivalent to 50%-100% of these payments must be paid in addition to the due payments. 

The Regulation of Minimum Wages also provides that where a violation is established, the employer is ordered to pay the difference within a specified period and damages of up to 5 times the outstanding amount.

Source: §48-49 of the Labour Law 1994; § 3, 12 and 13 of the Regulations on Minimum Wages 2004; §85 of the Labour Contract Law

The current minimum wage rates can be found in Minimum Wage Section.

Regular Pay

The wage payment interval may be fixed in an employment contract however it can't exceed one month. Wages are to be paid monthly in cash for standard workers and on fortnight basis  for part-time workers. Wages can't be deducted or delayed without proper justification.

An employing unit should timely pay the full amount of salary to a worker according to the specification of the labour contract or relevant State regulations. Part-time workers are paid by the hour of work within 15 days after the work is completed.

Source: §50 of the Labour Law 1994; §30 & 72 of the Labour Contract Law 2007; §5 of the Regulations on Minimum Wages 2004

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • 1994年《劳动法》 / Labour Law, 1994

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