Since March of this year, the outbreak of Omicron has brought vast challenges for companies in China. Especially the rapid spread in Shanghai which has led to the city lockdown. Meanwhile, there are various unconventional situations with employment operations during such a special period. Therefore, we have hereby summarized a list of HR issues that may be of interest to companies and take Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai as example to further understand the local policies.
- How to calculate the salary of employees during COVID-19 testing on working days?
Employees who undergo the Covid-19 testing at the request of the government on working days shall be deemed to have normal work performance, and companies shall pay the full salary.
- How to calculate employees’ salary during quarantine?
- Centralized quarantine: Those who are subject to mandatory centralized quarantine at the request of the government should be regarded as engaged in normal work, and their salary will be calculated based on normal attendance.
- Home quarantine: For positions that can arrange employees to work from home through phone, Internet and other flexible methods, the company should arrange the work normally and pay the corresponding full salary according to the law; for positions that do not meet the conditions for work from home, the company can negotiate with employees to use vacations to offset the quarantine, and give priority to paid-vacations such as annual leave.
- Being quarantined in other places due to business trip: In the case of quarantine due to the pandemic, the company shall treat the worker as providing normal labor and pay the full salary.
- Quarantined during vacation: The salary payment during the quarantine period due to requirements of the pandemic during the employee’s vacation shall be handled according to the following methods:
- For employees who are on personal leave, the company is permitted to not pay salary.
- Employees who are on annual leave, marriage and funeral leave, home leave, maternity leave, etc. should be paid in accordance with local salary payment regulations.
- If the employees who have completed their personal leave or other types of leave but cannot return to work due to the pandemic, the company can make reasonable arrangements with reference to the above-mentioned measures such as working from home and coordinating the use of various types of leave during the period of home quarantine and pay the corresponding salary in accordance with the law.
- How to calculate the overlap between employee holidays and quarantine?
If an employee is required to perform quarantine and observation due to the pandemic during annual leave, marriage and funeral leave, family leave, maternity leave and other holidays, due to pandemic prevention and control requires isolation observation of the staff, the leave is not due to the time coincides with the isolation observation and extension.
- How does the company implement a flexible employment policy?
If a company has difficulties in production and operation due to the impact of the pandemic, it can stabilize its work positions by negotiating with the working union or employees to adjust salary, shifts, working hours and pending work assignments, to avoid layoffs as much as possible.
- How to calculate the salary of employees if a company suspends production due to the impact of the pandemic?
- Due to the impact of the pandemic, the company requires employees to postpone the resumption of work, if such postponement period is under one salary payment cycle, the salary of the employees shall be paid according to the standards stipulated in the labor contract.
- If such postponement period is more than one salary payment cycle, the regulations in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang are as follows:
- Shanghai: The employer shall negotiate with the employees to pay the corresponding living expenses. If a small number of workers provide normal labor during the period of suspension of production, the employer shall pay wages no lower than the minimum wage in Shanghai;
- Jiangsu: If the employees provide normal employment performance, the salary paid by the company to the employees shall not be lower than the local minimum salary standard. If the employees do not provide normal employment performance, the company shall pay living expenses no less than 80% of local minimum salary;
- Zhejiang: According to the work performance provided by the employees, the salary of the employees shall be paid according to the newly agreed standard between the two parties, which shall not be lower than the local minimum salary standard; if the company does not arrange the employees to work, it shall pay the employees living expenses at not less than 80% of the local minimum salary standard. Living allowances shall be paid until the company resumes work, production, or dissolves or terminates the labor relationship.
- How to manage dispatched workers during quarantine?
- It shall be deemed that employees are providing normal work performance and should be paid full their salary. During this period, the company shall not terminate the labor contract or return dispatched laborer/s who cannot provide normal labor due to the impact of relevant measures;
- When the dispatch period expires, it shall be extended until the expiration of the isolation treatment, the expiration of the medical observation period, the expiration of the quarantine period, or the end of the emergency measures taken by the government;
- The salary and treatment of dispatched workers during their employment with the employer shall be handled with reference to the relevant policies of the employer for direct employment.
Policy Sources for Reference:
- Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security  No. 5: Notice of the General Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Properly Handling Labor Relations Issues During the Prevention and Control of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Pandemic
- Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security  No. 8: The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the China Enterprise Confederation/China Entrepreneurs Association, and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce on Stable Labor Relations During the Prevention and Control of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Opinions on supporting the resumption of work and production by Enterprises
- Hu Human Resources and Social Security Office  No. 38: Notice on Implementing Support and Safeguard Measures in Response to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Pandemic
- Su Human Resources and Social Security  No. 5: Notice of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security on forwarding the “Notice of the General Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Properly Handling Labor Relations Issues During the Prevention and Control of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia”
- Zhejiang Human Resources and Social Security  No. 3: Notice of Zhejiang Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security on Actively Responding to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Pandemic and Effectively Doing a Good Job in Labor Relations
- Hangzhou Human Resources and Social Security  No. 8: Notice of Hangzhou Human Resources and Social Security Bureau on Doing a Good Job in the Prevention and Control of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia