On September 29, 2016, the Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress issued the Amended Guangdong Provincial Regulations on Wages (the "New Wage Rule") and the Guangdong Provincial Regulations on Population and Family Planning (the "New Family Planning Rule"), both effective as of September 29, 2016.

The New Wage Rule requires newly-executed employment contracts to specify a wage payment cycle and a wage payment date. However, the New Wage Rule does not provide a penalty for an employer that fails to include these terms in an employment contract.

The New Family Planning Rule extends maternity leave in Guangdong Province from 128 to 178 days. In China, national rules entitle female employees to 98 days of maternity leave after a normal birth. Local rules can provide additional maternity leave days on top of this statutory minimum. Previously, Guangdong Province added 30 days to the statutory minimum for a total of 128 days. Now, Guangdong Province will instead add 80 days to the statutory minimum for a total of 178 days as long as the birth of the child complies with laws and regulations.

Key Take-Away Points:

In response to Guangdong’s new wage and maternity leave rules, we recommend companies in Guangdong Province add wage payment cycles and payment dates to their employment contracts and amend their policies and practices to reflect the latest changes on maternity leave.

With female employees now being permitted to have two children since the family planning rules were relaxed at the end of 2015, and with Guangdong Province’s longer maternity leave period for each birth, employers could see a significant increase in the amount of maternity leave used by their female employees.