As of February 11th, 2020, official sources indicate the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (“NCP”) has amassed a total of 42,717 confirmed cases and 21,674 suspected cases, sweeping across the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on an unprecedented level. Along with the gradual resumption of work, government authorities have enacted a large quantity of coping regulations, DP has therefore sorted and extracted the major points from the issued regulations in Beijing, Hubei, Guangdong, Tianjin.
- Notice of the General Office of the Beijing People’s Government on the Implementation of the “Four Aspects Responsibilities” to Further Strengthen the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia Outbreaks of Novel Coronavirus Infection in Key Populations, Places and Units (January 27, 2020)
1) Service Management for People from Hubei to Beijing
Within 14 days before arriving in Beijing, those who left from Hubei or had contact with someone in Hubei shall receive 14 days of supervised medical observation from the date of arrival.
2) Service Management for People from Other Regions to Beijing
Employees from other domestic regions shall be urged to implement prevention and control measures and be provided with necessary protective equipment.
For employees in the medical observation period of 14 days, flexible working hours shall be implemented.
- Notice of the Beijing People’s Government on the Flexible Arrangement of Work by Enterprises During the Prevention and Control of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Infection (January 31, 2020)
1) Before 24:00 on February 9, 2020, those enterprises for epidemic prevention and control , ensuring city operation enterprises, for the life of citizens, key projects construction and other related enterprises involving the national economy and people’s livelihood shall arrange employees to come to the unit normally to work.
For the employees who return to work normally before 24:00 on February 9, 2020 due to work needs, enterprises shall strengthen temperature detection and health protection for the employees and report relevant information in a timely manner.
2) Before 24:00 on February 9, 2020, if other enterprises are qualified, they shall arrange employees to work at home through flexible means such as via telephone and internet to complete the corresponding work. For enterprises that do not have the conditions to arrange employees to work at home, flexible methods of work time calculation shall be taken.
- Several Measures for Supporting SMEs from the Office of Beijing People’s Government (February 6, 2020)
1) During the epidemic, SMEs seriously affected will be suspended from collecting special equipment inspection fees, sewage treatment fees, and road occupation fees.
2) If SMEs lease state-owned houses to do business in Beijing and insist on conducting business or ceasing operations in accordance with the epidemic prevention regulations without layoffs or fewer layoffs, are exempt from February rent; If the rent is for office use, a 50% reduction of the rent in February will be applied.
3) SMEs that find it difficult to file tax returns due to the epidemic situation may, in accordance with the law, extend their tax payments for a maximum of three months.
4) If the stock pledge agreement of SMEs expires during the epidemic prevention and control period, and the enterprise applies for extension due to repayment difficulties, it can negotiate with financial institutions such as securities companies, and the extension period shall be from 3 to 6 months.
5) For insured enterprises that insist on none or a reduced amount of layoffs, the unemployment insurance premium can be returned according to the per capita unemployment insurance premium standard and the number of insured employees in the previous six months.
- Notice on Maintaining Stable Labor Relations during Epidemic Prevention and Control from Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau (January 23, 2020)
1) Employees who have stopped working for medical treatment due to illness shall enjoy a medical treatment period. During the period of medical treatment for employees, the enterprise shall pay sick leave pay in accordance with the labor contract or collective contract, which shall not be lower than 80% of Beijing’s minimum salary.
2) For employees who have not returned to Beijing for work due to the epidemic situation, the enterprise may give priority to arrange annual leave.
Employees who have worked for 1 year but less than 10 years shall have 5 days of annual leave; employees who have worked for 10 years but less than 20 years shall have 10 days of annual leave; employees who have worked for 20 years shall have 15 days of annual leave.
If the employee has not been back to work for an extended period of time, the enterprise may, after negotiation with the employee, arrange the employee to wait for work. During the period of waiting for work, the enterprise shall pay the basic living expenses according to no less than 70% of the minimum salary standard of Beijing.
Employees on business trips who perform work tasks and fail to return to Beijing in time due to the epidemic situation shall be paid by the affiliated enterprise according to the salary during normal work times.
3) Enterprises affected by the epidemic can apply to the human resources and social security department for the implementation of a comprehensive calculation of working hours. In accordance with the needs of production and operation, the rotation of shifts will be implemented.
- Notice of the General Office of the People’s Government of Hubei Province on Extending the Spring Festival Holiday of 2020 (February 1, 2020)
1) Extend the 2020 Spring Festival holiday to February 13 (including personnel who come to Hubei to visit relatives and friends on vacation during the Spring Festival) and start work normally from February 14.
2) Employees who are unable to take leave due to epidemic prevention and control shall be arranged to take compensatory leave in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China, and the wages and remuneration of the unused leave shall be guaranteed and implemented in accordance with the relevant policies.
- Notice of the General Office of the People’s Government of Hubei Province on Printing and Distributing Hubei Province’s Fiscal and Taxation Support Policies for the Prevention and Control of Novel Coronavirus Infection and Pneumonia (February 2, 2020)
1) Through public charitable social organizations or people’s governments at or above the county level (including county level) and their constituent departments and direct agencies, companies using donations for charitable activities and public charitable undertakings that comply with legal requirements, including supporting epidemic prevention and control. The part within 12% of the total profit can be deducted when calculating the taxable income; the part exceeding 12% of the total annual profit is allowed to be carried forward and to be deducted when calculating the taxable income in the next three years.
2) Losses of assets caused by force majeure factors, including the actual situation of an enterprise, are allowed to be deducted when calculating taxable income.
3) The front-line medical and epidemic prevention workers participating in the epidemic prevention and control work are exempted from personal income tax for special temporary work subsidies obtained in accordance with the standards set by the central and local governments.
4) When individuals donate for epidemic prevention and control through public welfare social organizations, people’s governments at or above the county level (including county-level), and their departments and direct agencies, part of the donation within 30% of the total taxable income can be deducted from the total.
5) To support subsidies for agricultural and side-line products and medical supplies.
6) To encourage the continuous and stable operation of the farmer’s market and implement full subsidies for the rents of farmers’ stalls.
7) To encourage the promotion of the contactless catering distribution business model, implement green channels for the approval of new and reconstructed contactless catering distribution facilities, and subsidize the contactless food delivery order delivery costs
- Notice on Further Strengthening the Prevention and Control of the Epidemic Situation of the New Coronavirus Infection in Rural Areas (February 5, 2020)
1) To examine the health status of the personnel in the area. The prevention and control task force shall comprehensively check the physical health status of each household in the area to ensure full coverage.
2) To focus on tracking and monitoring of returnees in Wuhan. Those who do not take the initiative to report and refuse to accept temperature measurement, medical observation and other prevention and control measures shall be held accountable according to law and regulations.
3) Isolation management of villages, communities and units. The counties, townships, villages, and groups (natural bays) have four levels of isolation. All personnel who enter and exit shall have temperatures measured and have valid certificates. All personnel and vehicles from outside the region are strictly prohibited.
4) To implement village-level initial diagnosis, township (street) centralized quarantine, and county-level centralized treatment.
- Notice on Supportive Measures for SMEs against NCP
1) The prices of industrial water and natural gas shall be reduced by 10%, for the period from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. For small and medium-sized enterprises using electricity, gas, water, etc., “non-stop payment” measures shall be implemented; the enterprise may pay the various deferred fees within 3 months after the epidemic and shall be exempted from delay fees.
2) For small, medium and micro enterprises that lease state-owned assets for operating houses, rent shall be waived for three months and rent shall be halved for six months.
3) Governments at all levels and state-owned enterprises must fulfil their contracts in accordance with the law to avoid new arrears of corporate accounts.
4) If the taxpayer suffers major losses due to the epidemic situation, and it is indeed difficult for the taxpayer to pay the urban land use tax and real estate tax, the urban land use tax and real estate tax shall be reduced or exempted according to law upon approval by the tax authority.
5) If the taxpayer is unable to pay the tax on time due to the impact of the epidemic, the tax may be postponed for a maximum of 3 months upon approval by the provincial tax authority.
6) Implementation of a flexible employment policy, enterprises affected by the epidemic situation which have caused difficulties in production and operation, may collectively negotiate with employees, take measures such as salary negotiations, adjustment of working hours, rotation of shifts, on-the-job training and other measures to retain labor relations.
7) During Spring Festival (before February 13, 2020), enterprises that start production, and distribute urgently needed supplies for epidemic prevention and control will be eligible for a one-time employment subsidy of 2,000 yuan per person.
Such policy will be implemented from the date of issuance, and the validity period is tentatively set for 6 months. If the central government issues relevant support policies, the central government policies shall prevail.
- Notice of Guangdong Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security on Actively Responding to the Epidemic Caused by New Coronavirus and Properly Handling Labor Issues (January 25, 2020)
1) For employees diagnosed as infected with novel coronavirus, suspected as patients, or being close contacts thereto, who have been unable to perform work normally during the period of isolation treatment or medical observation, or employees who have been unable to perform work normally due to the implementation of quarantine measures or other emergency measures taken by the government, they shall be deemed as having performed work normally and the company shall pay the salary for such time period as during normal work.
2) For employees who fail to return to Guangdong for work in time due to the epidemic, through consultations with the employee, the company may give priority to arranging them to take paid annual leave.
3) If the company suspends operations due to the impact of the epidemic situation, the salaries shall be paid as during normal work if the suspension is within one salary payment term (maximum thirty days), and remuneration may be paid based on the work provided by the employer according to the newly mutually agreed standards, which shall not be less than the local minimum wage standard, if the suspension exceeds one salary payment term; If the employer has not arranged for its employees to work, it shall pay the employees living expenses of at least 80% of the local minimum wage standard until the resumption of business, production or the termination of the labor contract.
- Notice of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province on the Time of Work Resumption of Companies and Opening of Schools (January 28, 2020)
Companies of any kind in Guangdong shall not resume work before 24:00 on February 9, except for those which are necessary for the urban and rural operations, the prevention and control of the epidemic, or for people’s livelihood, and other enterprises concerning major issues of the national economy and people’s livelihoods, supplying Hong Kong or Macau, or in urgent need of work resumption due to special reasons.
- Answers to Questions regarding Salary Payment during the Extension of Chinese New Year Holidays, the Postponement of Work Resumption and Salaries of Patients with Pneumonia Caused by the Novel Coronavirus, Suspected Patients, and Close Contacts during the Quarantine Period (January 30, 2020)
1) During the work postponement period from February 3 to 9, the company shall pay salaries to employees as stipulated in the labor contract.
2) After the quarantine period ends, for patients who still need to stop work for treatment, the company shall provide sick pay in accordance with the relevant provisions during the employees’ medical treatment period.
3) Companies using dispatched employees shall not claim the occurrence of situations provided under Articles 40, 41 of the Labor Contract Law so as to return dispatched employees who have been unable to perform work normally due to being diagnosed as infected with the novel corona-virus, suspected as patients, or being close contacts thereto, or due to the implementation of quarantine measures or other emergency measures taken by the government, to the dispatching employer. Salary payment for dispatched employees during the labor dispatch shall be subject to the policies applicable to the general employees of companies using dispatched employees.
- Prevention and Control Guide of the Epidemic Caused by New Coronavirus on Migrant Workers Who Come Back to Guangdong by the Health Commission of Guangdong Province (January 30, 2020)
Workers from epidemic areas shall be firstly isolated for 14 days.
- Notice of Policies and Measures in Response to the Epidemic Caused by the New Coronavirus by Supporting Companies’ Resumption of Work by the People’s Government of Guangdong Province (February 06, 2020)
1) The social insurance payment date can be postponed to three months after the termination of the epidemic.
2) Companies with no layoffs or fewer layoffs will be refunded 50% of the unemployment insurance of last year.
3) The salary for the employees who are treated or isolated due to the epidemic can be reimbursed up to 50% of the paid primary endowment insurance of last year.
4) Companies can delay the tax declaration up to three months.
5) The state-owned landlord can reduce the rent of the tenant companies which cannot operate as usual.
6) The service of petty loans will be optimized.
- Guide of Resumption of Work after Spring Festival during the Period of Prevention and Control of the Epidemic Caused by New Coronavirus in Dongguan (On Trial) (February 4, 2020)
1) The company shall take measures to control and prevent the epidemic such as administering temperature checks at the entrance of factories, canteens and dormitories.
2) The company shall lead the employees’ return to work in batches.
3) If there are employees from Hubei, the company shall log onto http://18.104.22.168 to update the information. The username and password have been distributed to the company by the local HR Bureau.
4) Employees from Hubei with a temperature over 37.3℃ shall contact the local fever clinic. The employees from Wuhan with a temperature less than 37.3℃ shall be isolated in a local centralized medical observation point for 14 days. Employees from Hubei (not including Wuhan) with a temperature less than 37.3℃ shall be isolated at home for 14 days. Employees from other areas with a temperature over 37.3℃ shall wear protective masks and go to a local fever clinic for further examination.
- Notice of Headquarters of the Prevention and Control on the Epidemic Caused by New Coronavirus of Guangzhou (No.2) (January 30, 2020)
All persons in Guangzhou since January 30 shall report personal information through “Suikang”(“穗康” ) Wechat Mini-program.
- Notification regarding Postponing the Resumption of Work and School Opening from the People’s Government of Tianjin (January 31, 2020)
All kinds of enterprises within should temporarily not return to operation except for those involved in matters necessary for the operation of the city, epidemic prevention & control, people’s livelihood and other important affairs for the national economy and people’s livelihood. The legitimate rights and interests of employees should be guaranteed in accordance with the law. All kinds of school-openings in Tianjin should be postponed.
The actual time for returning to work and starting school shall be declared in advance to set aside preparation time for enterprises and schools.
2. Notice of the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau on Properly Handling labor relations in coping with pneumonia caused by new coronavirus infection (January 24, 2020)
- For employees diagnosed with novel coronavirus, suspected as patients, or being close contacts thereto, who have been unable to perform work normally during the period of insulation treatment or medical observation, or employees who have been unable to perform work normally due to the implementation of quarantine measures or other emergency measures by the government, enterprises shall pay the salary as agreed in the labor contracts for such period in full amount and shall not terminate the labor contract per Articles 40, 41 of the Labor Contract Law.
- The time period of isolation treatment, medical observation, quarantine or other emergency measures by the government shall not be calculated into the medical treatment period. If a labor contract is set to expire within such period, it shall be extended until the end of the period of medical observation, quarantine, or other emergency measures taken by the government.
- After the end of the period of medical observation, quarantine, or other emergency measures taken by the government, if an employee should refrain from working and medical treatment as needed, the medical treatment period of 3 to 24 months shall be granted according to the national regulations.During the medical treatment period, the enterprise shall pay sick pay in accordance with the labor contract or collective contract. The sick pay shall not be less than 80% of the standard minimum wage in Tianjin.
- If an enterprise has difficulties in production and operation, it may, after negotiation with employees, adopt such measures as adjusting salary, alternating rest periods, shortening working hours, etc., to try to stabilize work posts, and not to or reduce the number of layoffs. Enterprises that do not cut staff or whose reduction rate is lower than the control target of unemployment rate investigated in Tianjin will be given 50% of the unemployment insurance premium paid by enterprises and employees in the previous year as a return of stable employment.
- If the suspension of operation and production is within a salary payment term, the enterprise shall pay its employees’ salaries as stipulated in the labor contract. If the suspension lasts for more than one salary payment term while the enterprise arranges for the employees return to work after the aforesaid suspension, after negotiation with the employee, the labor contract may be altered and the salary may be adjusted, which, however, shall not be lower than the standard minimum wage in Tianjin.
3. Measures from the People’s Government of Tianjin to further promote the sustainable and healthy development of the economy and society in Tianjin in coping with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus infection (February 6, 2020)
- Grant small and medium-sized enterprises preferential rent. For small and medium-sized enterprises and public-built grocery markets, if they rent state-owned assets for business use, the rent shall be exempted for three months and the rent for another three months shall be halved. If they rent for other business properties, the owners are encouraged to reduce the rent, which shall be resolved by both parties through negotiation.
- Encourage enterprises to stabilize the workforce. The payment rate of unemployment insurance in Tianjin will be reduced in stages. The unit rate and the individual rate of employees to be cut will be 0.5%, which will be effective until July 31, 2021. For insured enterprises that do not reduce or reduce the number of employees by a small amount, 50% of the unemployment insurance premium actually paid in the previous year shall be refunded.
- Increase tax incentives. Small and medium-sized enterprises who find it difficult to file tax returns due to the epidemic may apply for an extension of three months’ filing according to law. Enterprises truly unable to pay the tax on time due to special difficulties shall apply for an extension of three months. Enterprises suspending operation or production or suffer heavy losses due to the epidemic, who indeed have difficulties paying property tax or urban land-use tax, may apply for a temporary reduction or exemption. The donation expenditure, if it shall be to fight the epidemic, of enterprises, institutions and other social units, shall be deducted before calculating the enterprise income tax according to the relevant policies; Such donation expenditure of individuals, through the social units that meet the deduction qualification, shall be deducted when calculating the individual taxable income according to the relevant policies; taxpayers who sign donation contracts when donating the epidemic prevention materials free of charge, bear no stamp duty.
- Postpone the period of social security payment basis. The period of social insurance payment shall be extended appropriately. The insured units in Tianjin, who fail to register and pay social insurance premiums on time due to the epidemic, shall be allowed to make up the insurance within three months after the end of the epidemic, and no late fees shall be charged. In the aforesaid situation, the rights and interests of insured employees, which are related to the social security payment, would not be affected, such as benefits and rights regarding social insurance benefits, house purchasing, vehicle-plate raffle, the school enrollment system of employees’ children, and point-based household registration.
- Strengthen insurance services. For enterprises affected by the epidemic situation and suffering losses, the insurance institutions shall open a 24-hour service hotline and green channel for claims settlement, give priority to handling online claims settlements, appropriately expand the scope of responsibility, simplify claims acceptance requirements, and adopt ways such as prepayment to ensure that all claims should be paid. Tianjin Branch of China export and credit insurance company is encouraged to import epidemic prevention materials and equipment for enterprises, provide free overseas supplier list reports, credit investigation, special preferential rates and other special services, provide support in the approval of credit limits, set up special loss assessment and compensation green channel, and appropriately relax the claim handling requirements.
- Support the development of financial leasing business. Financial leasing companies who carry out leasing business related to epidemic prevention and control, such as material production equipment, medical equipment, inspection and quarantine equipment, shall be encouraged to slow or reduce the rent and interest. For enterprises seriously affected by the epidemic and facing temporary difficulties, it is encouraged to extend their rent receivable and increase their financing granted, and actively provide differentiated preferential leasing services.
Companies are going through a testing period at the moment, not only for the difficulties caused by NCP on business operations but also for the overwhelming volume of regulations published by all levels of administrative organs, which presents a compliance challenge to say the least. Moreover, as on occasion the community-level authorities tend to formulate stricter rules, it’s imperative for companies to keep a close watch on the implementation guidelines for counter-NCP measures as well as getting in touch with the immediate authorities directly in charge. For more information/assistance, please reach us at email@example.com.
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