Executive Summary

  1. 3 September 2015 declared a public holiday in 2015 to mark the victory of the Second World War.
  2. The rate for unemployment insurance in China is reduced from 3% to 2%.
  3. In addition to Germany, Korea, Denmark and Finland, the social insurance treaty is signed between China and Canada.
  4. Key data was released by press conference for the 1st quarter of 2015 by the Human Resource and Social Security Ministry.

3 September 2015 declared a public holiday to mark China’s victory in the Second World War

China is marking the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan in the Second World War by granting a public holiday for 2015. 3 September 2015 has been officially declared as"The 70th anniversary of Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese War and the World Anti-Fascist War Victory Commemoration Day". The holiday will only apply for this year.

Reduced contribution rate for unemployment insurance

On 27 February 2015, in an endeavour to relieve the burden borne by employees in light of the slowing down of the Chinese economy, the Human Resource and Social Security Ministry, together with the Finance Ministry, issued a notice on adjusting the payment rate for unemployment insurance (the "Notice"). In accordance with the Notice, the contribution rate will be reduced from 3% to 2%. The specific reduction rate for employers and employees will be set by local governments and are likely to vary across areas. So far Qinghai, Ningxia, Shanxi, Henan, Hubei and Beijing have all announced their adjusted figures. The contribution rate in Qinghai has been reduced from 2% to 1.5% for employers and 1% to 0.5% for employees. This is significantly different to that in Ningxia, where the rate has been reduced to 1.3% for employers and to 0.7% for employees. More governments will announce their reduction figures soon and an eye can be kept out for a national rollout of the trend.

Social insurance treaty signed between China and Canada

China and Canada executed a bilateral treaty regarding social insurance on 3 April 2015. The treaty was entered into for the purposes of dealing with social insurance related issues for nationals of a home country whilst in a host country, dealing with the avoidance of the double tax charge, and relieving certain burdens for both employers and employees. China has entered into negotiations with 15 other countries on these issues and has at present signed a treaty covering the same matters with Germany, Korea, Denmark and Finland.

Press conference for the 1st quarter of 2015 by the Human Resource and Social Security Ministry

The Human Resource and Social Security Ministry organised a press conference on 24 April 2015 to showcase the progression of their work to the public and media. The relevant key points and data that were released at the press conference were as follows:

  • In the 1st quarter, labour mediation and arbitration bodies throughout China accepted 190,300 cases of labour disputes, which involved 275,600 employees. These figures have increased by 16.8% and 24.8% respectively when compared with the same period in 2014. The number of completed cases increased by 15.2% from 2014, taking the figure to 162,200;
  • Up to March 2015, labour security inspection authorities in China dealt with 107,000 cases regarding issues with labour law compliance and performed active inspections on 401,000 entities. Salaries owed to employees by employers, totalling approximately RMB 21.5 billion, were pursued by the inspection authorities and paid out. Additionally the organs participated in handling 7,664 employment-related incidents;
  • The contribution rate for unemployment insurance will be reduced by 1% from 1 March 2015 to alleviate the burdens faced by employers and employees;
  • Up to March 2015, the people who pay for basic medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related insurance, maternity insurance, and those who pay into a pension respectively reach 0.65 billion, 0.17 billion, 0.20 billion, 0.17 billion, and 0.84 billion. The total levy for the five categories of insurance amount to RMB 1,049.5 billion, which shows a 15.1% increase from 2014; and
  • Up to the end of the 1st quarter of this year, the registered unemployment rate across towns and cities in China is 4.05%.