Probation Period

Last updated: Sep 2020
The HR Regulations Guide for Foreign Companies in China


Regulations in China change relatively frequently. For the most up-to-date regulations, please check in with us.

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    If you think that China does not attach importance to labor laws and labor rights, then think again. China has many general national labor laws, which are periodically adjusted, as well as long lists of provincial laws and supplementary regulations. This can be rather confusing. As a result, companies can sometimes make innocent mistakes that come with enormous costs. The Chinese government is strict when it comes to foreign companies that employ local manpower, and there has been a recent increase in companies that have found themselves in unfortunate legal situations. Therefore, we urge you to pay special attention to all employment regulations. This is very important.

    PTL Group’s vast expertise includes employment services in China. We want to share our important knowledge with you. The following article discusses periods of probation.

    Read more about HR management and recruitment in China.

    Probation Period

    The duration of the probation period

    The probation period allows employees to learn, specialize and professionalize on the job. During this period, the employer also examines the employee’s chances of success, and evaluates the integration of the probationary employee. The law defines that an employer can only impose one probation period on an employee. Its duration changes according to the contractual employment term. In some cases, it is never imposed at all:

    The probation period duration has to be clearly and explicitly mentioned in the labor contract. It is mostly recommended to set the maximum duration stipulated by the law. This is because the extension of the initial probation period could be quite complicated, so it’s better to save this trouble and give yourself enough time. Once you decide to go on with the probationary employee, there is no “second chance”.

    The compensation of the probation period

    The employee’s wage during the probation period shall not be lower than the minimum wage for the same position by the same employer, nor may it be lower than the minimum wage of the locality where the employer is located. In any case, the wage shall not be lower than 80% of the wage stipulated in the labor contract. For the most part, employment termination by the employer during the probation period is illegal, unless the employee does not meet the terms of employment. If an employer dissolves a labor contract during the probation period, it must provide a valid explanation (in Chinese).

    Regulations in China change relatively frequently. For the most up-to-date regulations, please check in with us.