Working Time System in China

Standard working time system, irregular working time system and comprehensive working time system

There are three types of working hour systems in China. They are the standard working hours system,  the irregular working hours system and the comprehensive working hours system.  The standard working hours system is the principle system, which widely applies to enterprises and institutions. The other two systems are applicable to special working areas  and particular work positions.

  1. Standard Working Time System: Workers  shall not work  more than 8 hours  a  day and shall not work more than 40 hours a week;  workers have at least one day off per week.
  2.  Enterprises which cannot meet the above requirements must obtain government’s approval for irregular working hours arrangement or comprehensive working hours scheme.  Without the permission from labour department, it is illegal for enterprises to sign labour contract with irregular working hours system or comprehensive working hours system.
  • Irregular Working Hours System: it applies to special production or working areas which could not be measured by working time or need flexible  time worker. There is no fixed  limit for workers on working hours under this system.

   The enterprises may apply for irregular working hour system for the following positions:      

         (A) senior management, outdoor staff, salesman and operator on duty;

         (B)  long-distance transport workers, taxi drivers and stevedores in railway station, port, or warehouse ;

  • Comprehensive Working Hours System: it is a system that  calculates working hours weekly,  monthly , quarterly,  yearly or  by other time durations, however,  the average daily working hours and average weekly working time shall be  meet the requirements of standard working hours system.

          The following working areas may apply for Comprehensive Working Hours System:

         (A)Transportation industries, railway systems, telecommunications, water transport enterprises, air transport industries, fisheries;

        (B) Geology and resources exploration, construction, salt production, sugar production, tourism.

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