Like pretty much everything else related to China employment law issues, the rest (or not) schedule for national holidays is a bit more complicated than one would think. For example, employees get a couple of long breaks but usually have to make up the time on a weekend, so the actual days off are shorter than they at first appear. This concept of “making up the time for a legal holiday” (节假日调休) for purposes of having a (superficial) long break is unique in China and as with so many other aspects of China employment law, is quite different from the U.S. or the European systems.
Per the PRC State Council’s recent notice, the national holidays for 2017 will include the following: New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Tomb sweeping day, Labor day, Dragon boat festival, Mid-autumn festival and National day. Specifically:
- New Year’s Day: A one-day holiday. As January 1 falls on a Sunday, China employees will get January their day off on Monday, January 2.
- Spring Festival (aka the Chinese New Year): A three-day holiday, i.e., the first three days of Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar. China employees will get a long break: from January 27 through February 2, however, they will have to work on January 22 (Sunday) and February 4 (Saturday), unless their employers provide a more generous time-off policy (e.g., per the employer rules and regulations).
- Tomb sweeping day: A one-day holiday and the specific date will be according to the lunar calendar. China employees will get April 2-4 off, but will have to work on April 1st (Saturday).
- Labor day: A one-day holiday: May 1st. Employees will get 3 days off: April 29, 30, May 1st. Note however April 29 and 30 are rest days so it’s really just one day off.
- Dragon Boat Festival: A one-day holiday and the specific date will be according to the lunar calendar. Employees will get May 28, 29 and 30 off, but will have to work on May 27 (Saturday).
- Mid-Autumn Festival: A one-day holiday and the specific date will be according to the lunar calendar) (Three days—October 1, 2 and 3). This Festival will be combined with National Day in 2017, meaning that China employees will get a long break from October 1 through 8, but will have to work on September 30 (Saturday).
Bottom line: As a China employer, if possible, do not have your employees work on a legal holiday.
This article was written by Grace Yang and published on China Law Blog. Original Post: http://www.chinalawblog.com/2016/12/china-employment-laws-national-holidays-in-2017.html