On 1 January 2009, the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security promulgated the Arbitration Rules for Handling Personnel and Labor Disputes Cases ("Rules"). The Rules came into effect on 1 January 2009 and provide clearer guidance on the labour arbitration proceeding.

Scope and application

The Rules shall apply to the following disputes:

  1. disputes arising from confirmation of an employment relationship; conclusion, performance, amendment, termination or ending of labour contracts; working hours; rest and holidays; social insurance; benefits; training; labour protection; labour remuneration; medical fees for work-related injuries; severance pay or compensation between an enterprise, individual economic organisation or private non-enterprise department and their employees; as well as between a government authority, public institution or social group and the workers with whom it establishes an employment relationship;
  2. disputes arising from the performance of the engagement contract between a government authority that implements the Civil Servants Law and its engaged civil servants, and between a government authority that is administered with reference to the Civil Servants Law and its engaged working personnel;
  3. disputes arising from termination of the employment relationship (e.g., dismissal, resignation and so on) and performance of the engagement contract between a public institution and its engaged working personnel;
  4. disputes arising from termination of the employment relationship (e.g. dismissal, resignation and so on) and performance of the engagement contract between a social group and its engaged working personnel;
  5. disputes arising from performance of the engagement contract between a department which engages civil servants of the army and its engaged civil servants;
  6. other disputes shall be handled by the labour arbitration committee according to laws and regulations.

Priority

If a dispute involves 10 employees or more or arises from the performance of a collective contract, the arbitration committee may prioritise the handling of this dispute.

Parties

If the business license of the employer involved in a labour dispute is revoked, or the employer is ordered to close down or decides on early liquidation or termination of its business, and as a result is unable to undertake the relevant liability, its investors, the sponsoring departments or the department in charge shall be a joint party of the employer.

If a dispute arises between an employee and an individual that contracts for the operation of a business, the employee shall apply to the labour arbitration committee for arbitration. Both the organisation that contracts the contractor and the contractor shall be the parties.

Suspending of the time limit for arbitration

If a party is unable to apply for arbitration within the stipulated time limit for arbitration due to reasons of force majeure, or because an agent has not yet been appointed for a worker with no or limited civil capacity or other legitimate reasons, the time limit for arbitration shall be suspended.

Time limit for deciding a case

The Rules reduce the time period for deciding a case from 60 days to 45 days; and the time limit for extension of deciding a case from 30 days to 15 days.

Abolishment of previous regulations

From the effective date of the Rules, Rules of Handling Cases by Labor Dispute Arbitration Committee promulgated by the original Ministry of Labor on 18 October 1993 and Rules of Handling Cases regarding Personnel Disputes promulgated by the original Ministry of Personnel on 6 September 1999 were abolished.