China’s Minimum Wage Levels Remain Stable in Response to Epidemic

China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released the Minimum Wage Standards for All Regions on April 26, 2020. The figures go up to March 31, 2020 and show that, broadly, minimum wage levels have remained stable.

Until March 31, 2020, only three regions have increased their minimum wage standards:
• Fujian province
• Qinghai province
• Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region

Fujian province puts its increases into force on January 1, 2020. They have reduced the number of classes to four. The current monthly and hourly per class, are:
• Class A: CNY 1,800 and CNY 18.5
• Class B: CNY 1,720 and CNY 18
• Class C: CNY 1,570 and CNY 16.5
• Class D: CNY 1,420 and CNY 15

Qinghai province also put into force its increase on January 1, 2020. In this case, only the monthly minimum wage was raised, with a 13.3% increase to CNY 1,700.

The increases Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region came into effect on March 1, 2020. The monthly minimum wage was raised by CNY 130 for all classes – A to C – and the hourly rate was raised by between 9.3% and 12%.

Stakeholders should note that Beijing’s Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Board issued a notice of suspension on the adjustment to minimum wage levels on July 14, 2020. A similar announcement was made by Tianjin on March 9. These are being issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.

The latest minimum wage figures show that six provinces and cities now have Class A levels above CNY 2,000. They are:
• Shanghai – CNY 2,480
• Beijing – CNY 2,200
• Guangdong – Guangzhou CNY 2,100 & Shenzhen CNY 2,200
• Tianjin – CNY 2,050
• Jiangsu – CNY 2,020 (Changzhou, Nantong, Nanjing, Suzhou, Taizhou, Wuxi, Yangzhou and Zhenjiang)
• Zhejiang – CNY 2,010 (Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou)

When looking at hourly minimum wages, Beijing ranks first with CNY 24, although Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangdong also rose above CNY 20 per hour.

The legal minimum wage level is the lowest amount an employer can pay a worker to carrying out their duties within legal standard working hours, or specific working hours in accordance with their employment contract. It comes in two forms:

• Monthly minimum wage – for full-time employees
• Hourly minimum wage – for part-time and temporary employees

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