Can foreigners work part time in China?

Getting a work visa and residency permission, which are required for foreigners to legally work in China, makes it difficult for them to take up part-time employment in China. Most work visas are issued to full-time workers exclusively, although it's not impossible if your company is prepared to sponsor you (which may include registering you as full-time). International students are also an exception to the norm since they have been permitted by their institution and the local exit-entry office since 2018 to work part-time. Please continue on if you're in any of these groups and are interested in learning more about the regulations governing part-time employment in China.

Part-time employment outside of your visa sponsor is a violation of international law.

Despite the fact that many foreigners in China work on the side, it is unlawful to work for any business other than the one that supports your work visa. Take on additional work that is unrelated to your main job if you are in China on a Z-visa at your own risk and keep it under wraps.

Written agreements are not required, although they may be helpful.

Part-time employment in China does not need formal contracts legally speaking. There's no need for written agreements when oral agreements will do. There are certain companies that will insist on formal contracts even if they don't need them for part-time employment.

An agreement in writing is your sole true defense if a disagreement arises since part-time employees have fewer legal safeguards and thus more scope and possibility for being defrauded. Before you begin, try to put your plan on the paper, no matter how informal it may be.

Part-time workers cannot be placed on probation.

Probationary periods (such as three months at half-pay) may be customary in full-time jobs, but they are prohibited for part-time workers in China. Many employers still attempt to impose a probationary term on new hires, giving them a lower wage for the first three months or no compensation at all until the probationary period is through.

Furthermore, it's a huge red signal that your employer wants to defraud you. It doesn't matter how good the bargain seems at the end, don't allow anybody talk you into taking a probationary position.

There are time constraints on how much work you can do in a day.

When it comes to determining what counts as part-time or full-time work in China, the rules are very rigid. Unaware workers may inadvertently breach the boundary because of their lack of knowledge of the distinction.

Part-time employees are only allowed to work for five hours a day, seven days a week, according to the law. If you work more than 40 hours a week, you will be considered a full-time employee. Remind your employer that you need to cut down on your working hours or get hired as a full-time employee if you start to go too far.

You should be compensated within 15 days of receiving your invoice.

Part-time workers in China have the right to be paid within 15 days instead of the usual 30 days for full-time employees. Most Chinese part-timers would be shocked to learn this, since the reality differs greatly depending on the company. While it's not unheard of for businesses to request payment periods for part-time employees that extend beyond 15 days, these durations are often far longer than the payment cycles for full-time employees — sometimes up to two months.

However, the 15-day limit is set by law, so don't be shy about bringing it up to your superiors. A good rule of thumb is to try to avoid lengthy payment intervals while working part-time in China, since this increases your risk of not getting paid if the business fails or you lose contact with the employer.

You're entitled to just a restricted amount of social security.

Having a full-time job necessitates having access to social security. Workers may use the money from this fund to pay for things like medical expenses at local hospitals. It's a fund into which all businesses and employees should contribute each month.

Part-time workers may not believe their social insurance coverage extends to them, but that isn't the case. The business is not required to pay into your social insurance fund as they would if you were employed full-time, but they are legally required to cover the medical expenses of any work-related accident. Aside from apparent illnesses like repeated strain, muscular discomfort, and stress-related symptoms, this may also include injuries sustained as a consequence of workplace accidents. If you begin to experience these symptoms while working part-time in China, you should seek medical attention right once.

However, you do not have the right to notice of yearly leave or termination.

Certain may be pleasantly pleased to learn that part-time Chinese employees have some rights, such as a probationary period and social insurance coverage, but sadly that's about it.

Workers who work part-time do not have the same benefits as full-time employees, such as paid yearly leave. While it is possible to negotiate this, your employer is unlikely to agree. As a side note, part-time employees may take as many unpaid holidays as they like as long as they notify their employer in advance and plan their work schedule appropriately.

Part-time workers in China, on the other hand, have no legal protections against being fired. If a company decides to fire you, it is under no obligation to give you advance warning or compensate you in any way.

To sum it up, the rights of part-time workers in China are better than most people think. There is no paid annual vacation, your contract may be cancelled at any moment, yet probationary periods are unlawful, payment periods are short, and you have some social insurance. That's the downside. Even if you don't like the fact that your part-time job doesn't have the same perks and rights as a full-time one, you shouldn't worry about it.

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