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PRC Labour Law - Bitesize: How many days bereavement leave is an employee entitled to in the PRC?

18 February 2010
Mayer Brown JSM Newsletter

How many days bereavement leave is an employee entitled to in the PRC?

The national law provides that when an employee's parent, spouse, or child dies, such employee is entitled to between one and three days of bereavement leave (with full pay). In practice it is generally accepted that employers should provide three days of bereavement leave.

Certain local rules (including Shanghai) provide that bereavement leave is also granted when an employee's parent-in-law dies.

How many days paternity leave is an employee entitled to in the PRC?

When an employee's wife gives birth to her first baby then, provided this wife is aged 24 or older (or got pregnant when aged over 23 - depending on local rules), then paternity leave will be granted. The amount of paternity leave varies between local rules, but will be between three and ten days.

What is "visitation leave"?

"Visitation leave" is provided for under regulations issued by the State Council in 1981 (the "1981 Regulations"). It is a paid leave entitlement granted to any employee who:

  • is working in government organizations or state-owned enterprises (but see below in relation to foreign investment company);
  • has worked for more than 1 year for that employer;
  • does not live with his or her spouse or parents; and
  • cannot visit his or her spouse or parents on a rest day.
If the employee is to visit his or her spouse, such employee is entitled to 30 days spouse visitation leave once in a year. With respect to parental visitation leave, unmarried employees are entitled to 20 days per year (or 45 days per two years) while married employees are entitled to 20 days per four years.

Is a foreign investment company required to provide visitation leave to its employees in the PRC?

It is debatable whether the 1981 Regulations apply to foreign investment companies. Local practice varies in this aspect. For example, the Shanghai Labour Authority holds the view that employees of a foreign investment company are also entitled to visitation leave. However, the Beijing Labour Authority’s position is totally different and does not require such companies to provide visitation leave.

Can I offset the legally required visitation leave with the paid annual leave?

You cannot offset accrued visitation leave against statutory annual leave, but you should be able to offset the visitation leave against any additional contractual annual leave if your policy expressly provides for this.

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