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This scam alert is for every expat working or seeking employment in China and can cost you about 10,000-20,000 rmb in lost wages. Every Chinese employer strives to save money and some do it legally. But other do it this way...
New hires and job applicants aboad are falsely told that during their 90 day probationary period, they will only receive 50% of their pay. Some expats are not even told but the they find out on payday the hard way - with shock and awe. When they read their contract they either find a sentence or two about "probationary pay" or no mention of not at all (usually the latter). Currently more that 70% of China foreign teachers polled were not even aware of this provision of China labor law! This ruse is 100% illegal and violates China Labor Laws which say the following (translation is rough)
"Employee probationary periods are limited to one month for each year of the contract term"
So, for you to have a "90 day probationary period" your contract would have to be 3 years in duration. Most employee contracts in China are 1 year, and legally the probationary period can not exceed 1 month accordingly.
Currently more that 70% of China foreign teachers polled were not even aware of this provision of China labor law! However, if you waive your employee rights and agree to different terms the employer puts in the contract, you must honor the contract. Therefore, on any contract you sign in China, you should insert a sentence or clause that says the following...
"Party B, the employee does not waive any of his/her employee rights granted in accordance with China's labor laws for any period of time during the duration of this employment agreement"
This one clause will also ensure that you are paid for overtime and are not charged money for a release letter when you leave the company. In recent years, expat employees were granted the same employee rights as local employees and courts have got much more impartial and diligent in enforcing the laws, so disregard the horror stories from the past about "not wasting money on a lawyer, because foreigners never win in Chinese courts". In the last year alone, 27 foreigners claimed major victories from 32 claims filed in Beijing and Shanghai. To get your own free copy of China's labor laws and visa laws in English, just send an email request to ChinaLaws @ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org
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