In September, Beijing issued the local Notice to Further Strengthen Administration over Foreign Employment (“the Notice”). The highlights of the Notice are summarised as follows:

Conditions for foreigners

The Notice re-affirms the following conditions, required for a foreign individual to work in Beijing and obtain a work permit:

  • Age limit: must be aged 18 years or older, but not older than 60 years old.
  • Education:
    • In general, a bachelor’s degree or above;
    • For senior, skilled talent who will hold a position that is to be urgently filled, or conduct the research and development of key technology, skill or qualification certificates where he/she does not hold a bachelor’s degree or above.
  • Working experience requirement: a minimum of 2 years experience of the related area.

For talents who are urgently needed for the economic and social development of Beijing, the above requirements in respect of age and working experience will be loosen. However, there is no statutory definition or catalogue of such type of talents. The Beijing labour authority will make assessment on a case-by-case basis.

Obligations for companies employing foreign individuals

The Notice requires the employer to:

  • create and maintain a personnel file which contains the foreigner’s employment contract, copies of their valid passport and work certificates and permits, temporary residence registration certificate, criminal record check, attendance record, social insurance contribution record, salary slips, and any other relevant documents;
  • submit a plan of its expected demand for foreign employment for the coming year to the local labour authority by early December each year;
  • establish internal mechanisms and policies, in particular for performance evaluation, remuneration and benefits, work safety, training;
  • supervise their foreign employees to ensure they complete all necessary registration requirements with the public security authority in relation to their accomodation and living arrangements;
  • designate a stable team responsible for all issues related to foreign employment, for example permit related matters; and
  • establish an emergency plan for foreign employees. If, for example, the foreign employee suffers an injury, the company shall activate the relevant emergency plan and report to the necessary authority, including the labour authority, foreign affairs authority and public safety authority, as required.

Further to the above general management requirements, employers are required to handle the following work permit related formalities within the designated timeframe. They must:

  • deregister work related permits within 10 days of the termination of the labour contract;
  • apply for permit extensions at least 60 days prior to their expiration;
  • make an announcement through public media to last 10 days when a foreigner leaves without notice and where the company is unable to contact him/her up to 15 days following his/her departure. If the foreigner still cannot be reached the company must apply for deregistration of his/her work permit with the local labour authority. Upon receiving the application, the labour authority will make a public announcement on its website for 10 days and the permit will be de-registered if the foreigner does not raise any objection during that period; and
  • report the loss of, or apply for an alteration to, an existing registration within 10 days of the relevant event where a foreign employee’s work permit is lost, damaged or stolen, or their registered information is changed.