Client writes in to ask about labor laws and how to set up the office hours for his Chinese staff.

As this question gets asked a lot, here are some basic points for your reference:

Just wondering if I could borrow your brains and experience and get some advice on a decision that's been on my mind for a long time now.

We currently work every alternate Saturday (so a 5.5. day work week) like a lot of other sourcing companies in China. I have been seriously thinking about cutting it down to 5 days instead. What are your thoughts on this? How are you dealing with this now? I feel, in order to attract the best people and to compete with "large companies" (outside of sourcing industry too) it is critical to offer something more than what a lot of Chinese companies offer and this seems to be one of those things, especially in terms of hiring married employees. However, at the same time, as we are in an industry with such tight margins, I wonder if this would be make us less competitive/productive.


If you need your people to be flexible and come in on evening and weekends when clients are in town or heavy workload, then you can’t be too pushy with set work hours or you will end up paying a lot of over time.  If your business is such that people can do their jobs during normal work hours, then a more structured format like the current one you have it sound.

In the other email you mentioned your business is slow at the moment. Know that another option is get out from under all those HR/ Admin headaches to focus on marketing and outsource the project mgmt. to a 3rd party like this one.

As you have AsiaBridge Law on retainer, we would be happy to come over to your office to review your HR policies and make some practical suggestions on how to optimize your office hours while staying compliant with local labor rules.

Related Content:

Is it Legal & Safe to Hire a Freelancer in China? - more on Labor Laws in China

AsiaBridge Law - Frequently Asked Questions about Engaging Lawyers in Asia
China Sourcing: 10 Common Mistakes




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