Notice on the handling of labor relations during the outbreak.

Notice from the General Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on properly handling labor relations during the prevention and control of pneumonia outbreaks of new coronavirus infection.

In order to actively aid the prevention and control of pneumonia from the Coronavirus epidemic, properly handle labor relations during the epidemic prevention and control, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of employees, protect the normal production and operation order of enterprises, and promote harmonious and stable labor relations, we hereby notify the following issues:

I. For employees who have or are suspected of having pneumonia from infection by the novel coronavirus, and those in close contact with it, during the period of isolation and treatment or medical observation, as well as those who are unable to work normally as a result of government quarantine measures or other emergency measures, the enterprises shall pay their salaries for this period and must not end their labor contracts on the basis of articles 40 and 41 of the Labor Contract Law.

Where labor contracts are completed during this period, appropriately extend them until the completion of the employees’ medical treatment, medical observation, isolation period, or the completion of the emergency measures imposed by the government.

II. Where enterprises experience production and business difficulties due to the impact of the epidemic, they may consult with employees to reach an agreement on adjusting salaries, work rotations, reducing work hours, and other methods to maintain positions, avoiding or minimizing layoffs as much as possible.

Eligible enterprises may receive subsidies for maintaining positions in accordance with regulations.

Where enterprises stop production during a pay period, the enterprises should pay salaries as provided in the labor contract. Where it is for longer than a pay period, if employees provide normal labor, salaries paid by the enterprise must not be lower than the local minimum wage standard.

Where professionals do not provide regular labor, the enterprises shall issue living allowances at a standard provided for by provinces’, autonomous regions’ and directly-governed municipalities’ measures.

III. Where due to the impact of the epidemic, parties are unable to apply for arbitration of a labor dispute within the period of limitations, the period may be suspended. The period of limitations are to resume counting from the day on which the causes of the suspension is eliminated. Where due to the impact of the epidemic it will be difficult for labor dispute arbitration organizations to hear cases within the legally prescribed time limits, the period may be extended accordingly.

IV. Each area’s department for human resources and social security should enhance guidance and services for labor and employment for enterprises affected by the epidemic, increase the force of supervision and law enforcement for labor safeguards, to truly protect the lawful rights and interests of workers.

General Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security

January 24, 2020

Source: 人力资源社会保障部
Document name & number: 人社厅发明电[2020]5号

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