On 4 June 2014, Beijing Human Resources and Social Insurance Bureau, Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and Beijing Municipal Commission of Education jointly issued the Notice on Further Strengthening the Employment of Foreigners in Beijing (“Notice”) which aims at regulating the employment of foreigners, protecting the rights of both the employer and the employee and further raising the threshold for employment of foreigners in Beijing. Set out below is a summary of the salient points of the Notice:
Four Requirements to be Met by Proposed Foreign Employees
The Notice stipulates that foreigners who wish to work in Beijing should meet four requirements:
- Aged between 18 and 60*, with no criminal record.
- Holder of bachelor's degree or above, with at least two years of relevant working experience*. Foreign teachers (except language teachers) shall have at least five years of relevant working experience. Technicians without bachelor’s degree shall have overseas technical qualification certificate.
- Have a definite employer and a valid passport or other valid international travel documents.
- Having obtained work permit and residence permit for work and the work being engaged in shall be within the scope permitted under the work permit.
* The age limit and the requirements on working experience can be relaxed for experts lacking or urgently required for the economic and social development of Beijing.
Stricter Standards for Foreign Teachers
In order to improve the quality of foreign teachers in Beijing, the Notice provides that, from 31 October 2014 onwards, foreign teachers applying for new work permit shall meet the following requirements:
- For those engaging in education and teaching work in pre-nursery education institutions, primary and secondary schools, international schools and other education training institutions: should have teaching qualification certificates issued by their own country;
- For those engaging in language teaching work: should possess internationally recognised language teaching qualification certificate if without teaching qualification certificates issued by their own country.
The Notice has imposed some obligations on the part of employers when employing foreigners, including:
- To hire foreign employees through formal and lawful channels and sign labour contracts with foreign employees in accordance with law where the term of employment shall not exceed 5 years.
- To contribute social insurance and provide other welfare and benefits to foreign employees in accordance with law and ensure foreign employees comply with PRC law during the term of employment.
- To establish personnel archives for foreign employees which shall include documents like photocopy of labour contract, valid passport and work permit, effective registration of temporary accommodation, overseas evidence of no-criminal record, attendance record, social insurance payment record, payroll record etc.
- To arrange and maintain a stable team of designated staff to handle matters relating to foreign employees including the application procedures and administration work relating to foreign employees.
- To establish foreign affairs emergency plan. Where there are emergencies (e.g. fatal accident, medical malpractice etc.), employer shall timely report to the human resources and social insurance department, foreign affairs, police, education departments.
- To timely handle the application, extension, alteration, cancellation of work permit for foreign employees.
- To report to the human resources and social insurance department at the beginning of December the plan regarding the demand of foreign employees for the following year.
Human resources and social insurance department together with public security bureau will work together to investigate and punish foreigners who illegally work in Beijing, those who introduce foreigners to illegally work in Beijing and employers who illegally employ foreigners to work.
According to the latest statistics from Beijing municipal government, more than 37,000 foreign employees currently work in Beijing. It is advisable to pay close attention to the details and the implementation of the Notice when employing foreigners to work in Beijing.