Labour Law of the People's Republic of China

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The Labour Law of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国劳动法; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國勞動法; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Láodòng Fǎ; Japanese: 中華人民共和国労働法), is a law of China which has been enforced since 1995. It was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China on July 5, 1994, and came into effect on January 1, 1995.

This Labour Law is the basic labour law of China. It’s easily confused with the Labour Contract Law of the People's Republic of China because of similar names and unprecise media reports. Sometimes it’s called the old labour contract law, which is an incorrect statement.[1]

Contents of the law[edit]

The law has 107 articles in 13 chapters. The titles of all the chapters are listed below.

  1. General Provisions
  2. Promotion of Employment
  3. Labour Contracts and Collective Contracts
  4. Working Hours, Rests, and Leaves
  5. Wages
  6. Labour Safety and Sanitation
  7. Special Protection for Female Staff and Workers and Juvenile Workers
  8. Professional Training
  9. Social Insurance and Welfare Treatment
  10. Labour Disputes
  11. Supervision and Inspection
  12. Legal Responsibilities
  13. Supplementary Provisions

The purpose of the law, stated by Article 1 in the first chapter, is to “protect the legitimate rights and interests of labourers, readjust labour relationship, establish and safeguard the labour system suiting the socialist market economy, and promote economic development and social progress”.

There’re 20 articles concerning labour contracts and collective contracts in the third chapter. In 2008, the 98-article-long Labour Contract Law came into effect to further regulate related behaviours.

Later amendment[edit]

The law was amended with minor correction in 2009.[2]

Criticism from the public[edit]

The law is widely criticised for its defects. This is one of the reasons for the promulgation of the Labour Contract Law a decade later. For example, though collective contract has been put into laws for more than 15 years, collective bargaining is not doing well in China.[3] The term collective negotiation (in Chinese 集体协商) first appeared in laws in 2007, instead of collective bargaining (in Chinese 集体谈判), which is less decisive than the latter.

Related laws[edit]

This is a list of related Chinese laws, but does not cover every law related.


  1. ^ "Labor contract law: Is the labor is still those representing capital is greatly", retrieved from
  2. ^ "中华人民共和国主席令" in Chinese, by Xinhua News Agency, published in
  3. ^ "Labor Activist: Why China Needs Collective Bargaining Now" by Carlos, T, The Wall Street Journal

External links[edit]