China's New Labour Contract Law: Responding to the Growing Complexity of Labour Relations in the PRC

University of NSW Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 788-803, 2007

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 317

17 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008

See all articles by Sean Cooney

Sean Cooney

University of Melbourne - Law School

Sarah Biddulph

University of Melbourne - Law School

Ying Zhu

University of Melbourne - Department of Management

Li Kungang

Anhui University

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

China's new Labour Contract Law is the most significant reform to the law of employment relations in more than a decade. Its final form emerged following highly contentious debates over the terms of earlier drafts - debates involving not only a range of Chinese actors, but also international business lobbyists and labour organisations. The Law as enacted represents a compromise between the competing demands of these many interest groups.

This article briefly surveys the reasons for the enactment of the Labour Contract Law, the polarised drafting process, and the key matters it addresses. The assessment presented is that the Law is, overall, a necessary and beneficial contribution to the regulation of work in China. However, the article highlights four areas likely to be subject to ongoing contention and dispute. Those areas concern (1) unilateral changes to working conditions; (2) forms of contracting and termination of employment; (3) labour hire; and (4) non-compete clauses.

Keywords: China, contract, law, reform, employment, labour, work conditions, regulation, hire, termination, non-compete

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Cooney, Sean and Biddulph, Sarah and Zhu, Ying and Kungang, Li, China's New Labour Contract Law: Responding to the Growing Complexity of Labour Relations in the PRC (2007). ; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 317. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1115550

Sean Cooney (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Sarah Biddulph

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Ying Zhu

University of Melbourne - Department of Management ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3053
Australia

Li Kungang

Anhui University ( email )

China

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