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PRC Labour Law - Bitesize: What types of PRC individuals can be employed in the PRC?

12 November 2009
Mayer Brown JSM Newsletter

What types of PRC individuals can be employed in the PRC?

Basically any PRC individual can be employed in China except for any person under the age of 16.

However, it is important that an employer should check that a prospective employee has ended his or her employment contract with any former (or current) employer. PRC law provides that any employer who employs a person who has another employment relationship will be jointly liable for damages suffered by the former employer due to the recruitment. In order to avoid any such risks, an employer should make sure that any prospective employee is free from any employment relationship with any other employer.

What about non-PRC individuals?

It is possible to employ non-PRC individuals (including Hong Kong/ Macau/Taiwan individuals) in China once they have obtained Work Permits from the local labour authority which allow them to work for the employer in the PRC.

What is the likelihood of a particular non-PRC individual being issued with a Work Permit?

While any local labour authority may put in place additional requirements on a case-by-case basis, there are certain basic requirements that a prospective employer should be aware of these vary depending on the nationality of the non-PRC individual.

With respect to a Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan individual, he/she must:

  • Be aged between 18 to 60 and be in good health
  • Have a valid travel permit (e.g., Home Return Permit)
  • Have corresponding qualification certificates as prescribed by the State if engaging in any of the professional (technical) occupations prescribed by the State

With respect to a foreign individual from anywhere else, he/she must:

  • Have reached the age of 18 and be in good health
  • Possess both the professional skills needed for the work and the corresponding work experience
  • Be free from any criminal record
  • Possess a valid passport

If you are interested in receiving our "PRC Labour Law - Bitesize" articles, or if you have any questions on PRC employment law, please email to .

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