Global PEO Services (GPS) helps companies hire employees in China without establishing a legal entity. All human resources, benefits, payroll, and tax needs for the employees are managed by the Global PEO, while the new hires and headquarter teams focus on your business goals.

When hiring employees in China, establishing a subsidiary or branch office is not always the best route, as it’s often a lengthy and expensive process. Hiring via a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), or Employer of Record (EOR), is a faster and often more effective option – especially when starting up in a new country.

Global PEO Services hires the employees on your behalf, legally contracting them through our subsidiary in accordance with Chinese labor laws. As a result, the burden of compliance is on us and the employees can begin work for your company in a matter of days. PEOs/EORs provide you with a streamlined option for hiring employees, testing markets, and responding to growing business needs in China. With Global PEO Services, you get control without taking on legal entity liabilities, contractor risks, or sacrificing on talent or speed to market.

Country Overview

The Chinese economy, one of the fastest growing economies of the 21st century, now ranked as the second largest economy in the world, is currently valued at a GDP of $12.24 trillion. With China’s “one belt, one road” initiative, effectively merging its foreign and economic policy, promotion of using the Chinese Renminbi for the use of settlements has increased. The country is increasingly playing an influential role in the global economy. It has been the largest contributor to global growth since the financial crisis of 2008.

Currency: Renminbi but also commonly known as the Chinese Yuan (¥)

Principal Languages: Mandarin Chinese; there are 275 indigenous languages across the country's 23 different provinces.

Government: The Central People’s Government forms 1 of 3 interlocking branches of power, the others being the Communist Party of China and the People’s Liberation Army

Capital City: Beijing

Major Cities: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu

Employment Contracts

A written labor contract is essential in China to protect both the employee and employer.

The law has specific regulations that determine what happens if a written contract is not provided within a month after starting work. These include:

  • Employers may have to pay double the salary for every month the employee worked without a contract.
  • If the employee works for 1 year or more without any written contract, the contract is deemed open-ended.

Contracts can be of 2 types -- fixed term, and open term or a term that expires once a specific task is completed. Employment contracts are rolled out either on a specified date or the date when the contract is executed. In some provinces such as Shanghai and Jiangsu, it is mandatory to draft employment contracts in Chinese language.

Work/Time Regulations

The standard work schedule in China is 40 hours per week, based on 5 days and 8-hour each day. The law makes it mandatory that employees receive at least 1 full day rest during the week, although most employers provide an additional day off usually on Saturdays and Sundays. According to the provision of the Labor Law, employers can extend working hours for production or operational needs as long as the labor union (if any), and the employees give their consent. Employees who don’t have a standard work schedule can work more than 160 hours a month excluding the maximum overtime of 3 hours-a-day.

High-ranking managerial staff, sales staff, field personnel, security personnel, and other employees can get flexible work-time systems whose nature of work does not suit the standard working hour system.


Employees who have provided services continuously for more than 1 year are entitled to receive paid annual leave. The amount will depend on the tenure of their service—years in the workforce—not just their years with the current employer.

If an employee suffers a non-work-related illness or injury, the length of the sick leave entitlement depends on the total years of work experience and tenure with the current employer.


The paid holiday schedule in China is as follows:

  • New Year's Day: Jan. 1-2
  • Spring Festival: 3 days, usually between late January and mid-February
  • Tomb Sweeping Day: 1 day, usually either April 4, 5 or 6
  • International Labor Day: May 1
  • Dragon Boat Festival: 1 day, usually in May or June
  • Mid-Autumn Festival: 1 day, usually between mid-September and mid-October
  • National Day: 3 days in early October

Employees also get additional public holidays from the government for long holiday weeks, known as “Golden Weeks,” particularly applicable during the Spring Festival and the National Day holidays. Employees who need to work on a holiday are entitled to get 300% of pay.

Leave for Sickness or Work-related Injury
If an employee suffers a non-work-related illness or injury, the length of the sick leave entitlement depends on the total years of work experience and tenure with the current employer.

Maternity Leave
In China, employers must offer maternity leave benefits according to the “Special Rules Concerning the Labor Protection of Female Employees.” As China has ended the 1-child policy, all the regions have moved to increase leave times at work for couples having children. In 2016, maternity leave in Beijing was extended up to 128 days for a first or second child. Shanghai and Guangdong province followed suit earlier in the year, as did many other provinces and municipalities all over the country.

Overall, about 20 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities have amended their regulations on family leave. Usually, women are entitled to maternity leave for a minimum of 128 days, which they can take 15 days before a child’s birth. The longest period of maternity leave is 180 days (in Fujian), and the shortest is 128 days. In Beijing, the leaves can even be extended up to 7 months if the employer allows it. For every additional child, 15 more days are granted as leave.

Paternity Leave
If a woman gives birth to her first child at the age of 24 or older and complies with the PRC family planning policy, paternity leave is approved to the father for 3 to 30 days depending on the region.

Sick Leave
Employees who must stay away from work due to a non-work-related injury or sickness, are entitled to get their regular salary for the first 15 days they do not come to work. If they remain absent longer than that, Social Security will pay the sick leave.


Employers are liable to provide social insurance benefits to their employees including foreign workers holding work permits. The social insurance benefits provided are:

  • Old-age pension insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Occupational injury insurance
  • Maternity insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance, and
  • Housing funds

The amount of employer and employee contribution varies from one fund to another. Overall, the maximum salary that is taken into account for calculating contributions is 3 times the average local annual salary as declared by the local government.

Statutory Benefits

  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Sick leave
  • Statutory paid annual leave
  • Overtime
  • Social insurance
  • Pension
  • Medical insurance
  • Work related injury insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Maternity insurance

Supplemental Benefits

  • Vacation and Paid Time off
  • Company car
  • Childcare
  • Job training and tuition
  • Performance bonus
  • Stock options
  • Dental insurance

How GPS can Help

With our Global PEO/Employer of Record services, companies can expand into China and hire their employees without having to establish a branch office or subsidiary in China.

  • Your candidate is hired via our China PEO. If needed, we can also help you find the right talent in any country with our comprehensive global staffing services.
  • Your new employee begins work quickly as we take care of employment contracts, statutory and non-statutory benefits, and running their payroll - all in full compliance with China laws.
  • Global PEO Services experts manage all day-to-day operational issues such as employee expenses, and severance/termination if required.
  • With no contractor risks, pass on the compliance burden to Global PEO Services.

Spin Off/M&A Support

  • Ensure continuity of payroll, benefits and HR support when acquiring or spinning off a business with employees overseas.

24/7 Support in 150+ Countries

  • Empower your teams with 24/7 support and a single point-of-contact model in which experienced client services directors are in continuous communication with information and advice.
  • We are backed by a mix of 300+ multidisciplinary experts from HR, Payroll, Finance, Tax, and Legal domains who are ready to respond to the expected and unexpected needs of your business on the shortest notice.

Easy Visibility into Your Employee Time & Attendance and Benefits Data
With our Global PEO, you get access to Mihi, our proprietary SaaS solution for time and attendance, vacation, leave management and benefits enrollment and management. Mihi enables clients to have easy access to employee data in real time. It is designed specifically for companies with a global workforce, especially when working in multiple countries with low headcount.

Ready for Growth When You Are
When ready, we can seamlessly transition you from the PEO/EOR model to your own legal entity and provide ongoing international HR, finance, legal, compliance and staffing support. Learn more about our end-to-end international expansion services.

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