Q&A: Pregnancy leave for foreigners

Question

If you have a wife who gives birth, do you also get pregnancy leave as well? Does this apply to foreigners?

Answer

Here in Chongqing, foreigners receive the same benefits as Chinese in the situation of a birth. You should receive 15 days off with regular pay. Many contracts will have a specific section regarding births and deaths. Unfortunately, you may find some employers who will not honor this. If this happens to you, you may want to seek further legal advice.

Sophia

 

Have you or your spouse given birth? Were you ever denied your contracted leave? Is there another legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

 

Q&A: Do I need to work foreign holidays?

Question

What is the law regarding working Christmas Day in China? Do companies that employ foreigners have to respect their employees’ cultural festivals or is it just another workday?

Answer

There is no widespread law about this. Christmas and other foreign holidays given to employees depends on what their work contract states. One thing to keep in mind is that this part of the contract is usually negotiable.

If you feel strongly about this point or the holiday is especially significant to you, let your employer know before signing a new contract. They could very well amend this part to suit your cultural traditions.

– Sophia

What are your holidays like in China? Do you employers allow you the time off? Let us know your experiences below. Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

Legal Advice: What to do if you get in an accident

Advice about Accidents

Recently, I helped one expat friend to talk to policeman about a traffic accident. I’d like to share this advice for anyone else who might end up in such a situation.

Firstly, if a traffic accident does unfortunately happen, never try to run away. You should always keep a good attitude and proceed with courtesy and level-headedness.

One benefit of this is that it will keep you aware of what’s going on and able to defend yourself from any unfair things that maybe happening.

The other benefit is that, by not running away, you won’t receive a criminal penalty. In the event that you do run away, there is a good chance you will get jailed and almost certainly take responsibility for the whole payment of the accident.

In this situation, despite being very stressful, face and perception become very important. It is smart to show the police and the people who might have been hurt your responsible attitude. This will all contribute to getting you a much more favorable outcome.

I’m happy to say that in this case I dealt with, the guy acted very responsibly and calmly during the things that happened. Everything was resolved suitably and I was very happy to help!

– Sophia

 

Q&A: Foreigners shouldn’t fight back?

Question

What can we do in situations that result in a confrontation or even violence? In an article I read it said that foreigners should not fight back and that whoever is injured worst is the victim.

 

Answer

Let’s look at the two points:

“Whoever is injured worst is the victim.”

This is not right. The severity of the injuries may play a part in the very beginning of the judgment standards, but it will not be the whole case. The police and the court will look at the other pieces of evidence and circumstances as well. However, having an attorney to advocate on your behalf will make them more willing to do so.

“Foreigners should not fight back.”

This is also not right. Everybody has the right to self-defense. However, if the people who attacked you have stopped, then you must also stop. This is a very serious point, and applies even if you were injured in the fight. Continuing the fight after another has stopped will lead to you taking the blame as the aggressor.

I hope this helps!

– Sophia

 

Have you ever faced a serious situation like this? Let us know your experiences below. Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

 

 

Q&A: Fined for not carrying passport?

Question

I hope this message finds you well. I was wondering if there’s a fine for not carrying/holding an ID in mainland China for foreigners?

Answer

There is no law stating that foreigners must always carry their passports. It may be advisable to carry a copy of your passport information and visa page, but it is not always necessary. If for some reason you are stopped by the police or even brought to the police station to be checked, there should not be a fine involved.

In a related matter, you should always carry your passport if you are going to another city. Not only will it serve as your primary form of identification, but it is necessary to check into any hotels and most transportation (e.g. planes, trains, and sometimes even buses).

Happy travels!

– Sophia

 

Have police ever stopped you or asked for identification? Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

Q&A: Hourly pay during holiday closings

Question

Question about national holidays and pay. If you are paid by the hour and your employer closes their business for four/five days but is refusing to compensate you for this, what legal rights do I have under Chinese laws? I have a legal employment contract.

Answer

Generally the rule will be no work, no pay if your salary is by the hour. The exception to this will be if your total monthly salary is lower than the provincial government’s standard minimum wage. For example, in 2016 the Chongqing minimum wage was 1500 RMB/month. If your monthly salary falls below this, your employer must compensate you further.

Sophia

 

What is your experience with employers and payment? Is there another legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

 

Q&A: I need to replace broken appliances?

Question

Hi Sophia, I have a little question. In my apartment, the water heater is broken, but my landlord wants me to pay for it.

Answer

If it was broken because of normal use, then the landlord should pay for its repair or replacement. However, sometimes there are special exceptions about equipment maintenance in the terms of your signed rental contracts.

I would suggest looking over the exact wording of the contract to find out if these terms are included. If so, you would be expected to pay for its repair, even if you were not the direct cause of it breaking. However, if this clause is not present, there should be no need for you to pay for the water heater.

– Sophia

Has you landlord tried to get money for something you felt was their responsibility? Let us know your experiences below. Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

Q&A: Employer won’t give dismissal letter

Question

Sophia, before leaving a company in China, is it essential to have a dismissal letter from the employer agreeing that you are leaving? “利齿真名” I think that’s the Chinese translation. What can an employee do if their old company won’t give this document or keep making excuses why they can’t give it? Are there any legal options?

Answer

In the situation where the employer won’t give you the proper papers to leave, you can call the Public Security Bureau (PSB) or the Labour Department and tell them the situation. The PSB will, in turn, push your employer to get the paperwork done. This is because your company has a responsibility to cancel your labour certification and let the PSB know your work visa with them is now finished.

– Sophia

 

Have your employers ever withheld your paperwork? Let us know your experiences below. Is there a legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@meldiculture.com.

Q&A: Getting a Chinese green card

Question

Hi Sophia, can you advise me about the possibility of getting Chinese permanent residence (green card) without investing huge amounts of money or being married to a Chinese citizen?

Answer

According to Chinese national law, there are four circumstances under which foreigners may be granted a green card. From the government’s English website:

  1. Be a high-level foreign expert holding a post in a business that promote China’s economic, scientific and technological development, or social progress.

  2. Have made outstanding contributions, or are of special importance to China.

  3. Have made large direct investment of over 500 thousand US dollars in China.

  4. Come to China to be with your family, such as husband or wife, minors dependent on their parents, and senior citizens dependent on their relatives.

You describe two of these circumstances in your question, and add that you would not qualify for either. However, even with the circumstances you describe, the rules surrounding the granting of a green card are very strict.

There are two other ways to get a green card than the circumstances you described. But these are rare and usually only granted to individuals who are exceptionally beneficial to the development of China.

Outside of these conditions, there is no way in the current set of strict rules to get a Chinese green card. If you would like more details on this process and the feasibility of applying for a Chinese permanent residence, I’d be happy to make an appointment with you.

Sophia

 

Are you curious about gaining Chinese permanent residency? Is there another legal question in China you’re wondering about? Leave a comment here or email Sophia at sophia@chinaexpatlaw.com.

 

 

Welcome to the China Expat Law Blog!

Welcome to the China Expat Law Blog!

One conversation from our WeChat Group.

What began as a Q&A WeChat Group for foreigners in Chongqing, we’ll be turning into a regular series of blog posts. Here, we will be updating regularly with questions from people regarding real world legal matters in China.

We’ll be covering as many topics as we can here, ranging from employment contracts, housing leases, visa issues, and plenty more!

Is there a matter you’re seeking advice on? Send it to us or leave a comment and we’ll do our best to get to the question and answer it.

Please note that answers provided on this blog are general advice and may not be applicable in all cases. If you are in need of legal advice specific to your case, I encourage you get in contact with me via email or telephone.

– Sophia