Labour Dispute

Continued economic prosperity in China and its international competitive advantage have been due in large part to the labor of workers in China, who for many years toiled in under-regulated workplaces. Now, there are new labor law reforms raising the rights and standards of workers throughout China. These new laws have been praised for their progressive measures and at the same time blamed for placing too many economic burdens on companies, especially those operating on the margins and those that have caused business failures. This, combined with the recent global downturn and the millions of displaced and unemployed Chinese migrant laborers, has created ongoing debate about the new labor laws. Meanwhile the Chinese Union has organized Wal-Mart and many of the Global Fortune 500 companies and a form of collective bargaining is occurring. Workers are pursuing their legal labor rights in increasing numbers. We are able to provide you a clear overview of the current labor and employment law environment in China and its legal requirements, as well as current practices under these laws used to deal with growing labor issues. Never has there been a time when understanding China's labor and employment laws is more important.

Employment and Labor Law

The pace of business and the globalization of the world marketplace have dramatically increased the need for legal services relating to the management of a global workforce. Our China Team's employment and labor practice offers clients a significant advantage beyond knowing the law – our presence in local offices provides strategic relationships and a practical understanding of local employment practices, business cultures and regulatory environments. Our China Team lawyers have extensive experience advising clients on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment and employment-related matters, with a particular emphasis on employment, labor, compensation and benefits matters relating to cross-border mergers and acquisitions. The team's services include:

  • Drafting and (as appropriate) negotiating employment and employment-related documents (including employment agreements, stock option plans, employment termination and reoffer letters, deeds of separation and release, employment secondment agreements, confidentiality agreements and intellectual property right and invention assignments).
  • Advising on employment and employment-related matters (including advice on employees' rights and protection, provident fund schemes, dismissal, discrimination, confidentiality, non-competition, personal data privacy and employee transfer issues).
  • Advising on and assist in employment visa applications and related immigration matters.
  • Advising on labor disputes and labor tribunal cases.

Representative Matters

Examples of the types of employment matters handled by our China Team include:

  • Advised Pfizer Inc. on employment matters in connection with the internal restructuring of the Pfizer group of companies and prepared and finalized forms of employment termination and re‑engagement letters.
  • Advised Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc. on general employment matters, particularly the issues relating to new employments and employment termination matters and the related statutory requirements and employees' general statutory and contractual entitlements upon employment termination; prepared and finalized an employment offer letter, an employment agreement and a deed of release from the Hong Kong legal perspective.
  • Advised Live Nation (formerly Clear Channel Entertainment) on the termination of employment, particularly the issues relating to employees' general statutory and contractual entitlements upon employment termination and the related statutory requirements; reviewed and revised the severance agreement and general release from the Hong Kong legal perspective.
  • Advised Universal Instruments Limited on the termination of employment, particularly the issues relating to governing law, employees' general statutory and contractual entitlements upon employment termination and the related statutory requirements; prepared and finalized a deed of separation and the related process agent appointment letter.
  • Advised NVIDIA Corporation on general employment matters, particularly the issues relating to new employments and employment termination matters and the related statutory requirements, certain rights and benefits available to employees and employees' general statutory and contractual entitlements upon employment termination; prepared and finalized employment agreements and a deed of separation and release.
  • Advised Zapf Creation AG on general freelance and employment arrangements, particularly the issues relating to employees versus independent contractors and certain rights and benefits available to employees generally; prepared and finalized an offer letter/letter of intent, a freelance agreement and an employment agreement.
  • Advised Real Eyes 3D S.A. on general employment matters and prepared and finalized an employment agreement template.
  • Advised Quaker Chemical Limited on new employment (particularly certain rights and benefits available to employees) and prepared and finalized an employment agreement form.
  • Advised Reebok Trading (Far East) Limited on the issues relating to a letter of severance agreement and the relevant employment termination payment and compensation contemplated thereby.
  • Advised Asiarails Limited on new employment (particularly certain rights and benefits available to employees) and prepared and finalized an employment agreement.
  • Advised Phoenix Technologies on the issues relating to an employment offer letter, reviewed and revised such letter from the Hong Kong legal perspective and advised on the issues relating to a formal employment agreement.
  • Advised Wagstaff, Inc. on new employment (particularly certain rights and benefits available to employees) and prepared and finalized an employment agreement.
  • Advised Vanguard Logistics Services (Hong Kong) Limited on employment matters in connection with its Hong Kong business and asset acquisition and prepared and finalized employment agreements and forms of employment termination and re‑engagement letters.
  • Advised a leading U.S. pharmaceutical product manufacturer and distributor regarding employment and employment-related issues (particularly employee transfer issues) arising from the restructuring of its Hong Kong business operations and from the sale of various aspects of its Hong Kong business operations, including the preparation of employment termination and re-offer letters and other related documents to address such issues.
  • Advised a leading French insurance company regarding employment and employment-related issues arising from the implementation and operation of the Hong Kong mandatory provident fund schemes legislation and related regulations.
  • Advised a leading Chinese Internet company, U.S. Internet companies and a global electronics productivity specialist based in the United States regarding employment and employment-related issues arising from the dismissal of their respective employees and the preparation, negotiation and finalization of deeds of separation and release.
  • Advised a leading Hong Kong food manufacturer with respect to the preparation of a standard form employment agreement.
  • Advised a joint venture in China regarding the preparation of an employment termination contract to terminate the employment relationship with its general manager.

Client Testimonial

One of the best China lawyers based in Shenzhen! I appreciated this Shenzhen lawyer's service because they helped me achieved my goals, though it was a tough mission. They are English speaking lawyers, so there are absolutely no communication barrier you likely encounter elsewhere. What impressed me is these Shenzhen lawyer's quick response and professional service, two characteristics which I treasure most. Although the Shenzhen lawyers are based in south China, they represent clients across the country, so you can also call them China lawyer! - Johnson