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China: Tianjin releases Labour Arbitration Cases for 2021

Authors: Carol Zhu and Yinbing Chen

The Tianjin Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau recently released five typical labour arbitration cases for 2021, with the intent to improve the employment environment, better safeguard the interests of both the employer and employees, and preserve the harmony of employment relationships.

The judicial rules reflected in these typical cases include: (1) it was illegal for the employer to end employment with pregnant employees upon expiration of the contract term, even if the employer was then unaware of the employee’s pregnancy; (2) it was invalid for the employer to formulate an internal policy that set working hours beyond the statutory limits; (3) the employer shall set clear and reasonable employment standards and assessment standards in advance, for legitimate employment termination during probationary period; (4) the employer may unilaterally arrange for employees to take annual leave based on actual operational conditions; and (5) the agreement between the employer and employee to waive social insurance contributions was invalid and the employee’s claim for severance pay based on said employer’s failure to contribute to the social insurance, shall be supported.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel

In addition to national and local laws and regulations, typical cases released by local human resources, the social security bureau and the courts are also important references for employers to understand local judicial practices. As judicial practices may vary in different cities throughout China, it is advisable for employers in China to pay close attention to such publicised typical cases and follow the latest judicial practices applicable in a specific region.