Foreign companies in China face significantly higher costs because of a new social insurance law that will apply to expatriate employees for the first time from July 1.
China’s first national social insurance law could require companies employing foreigners to pay up to Rmb4,324.56 ($667) per month in social insurance contributions, to pay for things like state medical insurance, pensions, workplace injury, unemployment and maternity insurance, according to employer lawyers.
Foreign employees might have to pay up to a further Rmb1,285.68 per month each in individual contributions.
Big areas of uncertainty remain, however, including whether the law will be voluntary or mandatory, and whether it will apply to all foreign workers – including those seconded from overseas – or only those working on local contracts. Treatment of nationals of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau is unclear.
Beijing has yet to indicate whether localities will have discretion to decide which foreigners are affected, or whether there will be a national standard, and whether expatriates who leave China can withdraw some benefits. Detailed regulations to implement the law are not expected for several months.
At a time when labour costs are rising rapidly in China, new social insurance levies on expatriate staff could further increase the cost of doing business in China. Income tax rates in cities like Shanghai – where the top levy is 45 per cent – are already seen as a disincentive to attracting foreign financial professionals.
中国欧盟商会(European Union Chamber of Commerce in China)已敦促中国人力资源和社会保障部将外籍员工缴纳保险设定为可选条款。该商会抱怨近年来欧洲企业在华经营的环境越来越差。
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has urged China’s ministry of human resources and social security to make contributions for foreigners optional. The chamber has complained of a worsening environment for European business in China in recent years.
美国普衡律师事务所(Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker)驻上海的中国劳动法部门主管莱斯莉•利戈尔内(Lesli Ligorner)表示，她认为外籍员工缴纳社保的规定将强制实施。“这将对劳动力成本产生显著影响，”并可能导致某些用人单位取消为员工安排的高额医疗保险。
Lesli Ligorner, China employment law head at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Shanghai, says she believes expatriate inclusion will be mandatory. “It is going to affect labour costs significantly,” and could cause some employers to cancel costly medical insurance for their staff, she said.
“该法可能对所有持有就业许可、并在中国停留某个最短时限的外籍人士产生影响”，德国泰乐信律师事务所(Taylor Wessing)驻上海的柯沛聪(Ralph Koppitz)说。
“The law could potentially affect any foreigner with an employment permit and a certain minimum stay in China”, says Ralph Koppitz of law firm Taylor Wessing, Shanghai.
君合律师事务所(JunHe Law Offices)的律师杰弗里·威尔逊(Jeffrey Wilson)代表上海美国商会(American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai)参与撰写了针对新社会保险法的意见书。杰弗里表示，他预计这一规定近期内不会实施。但是，多数常驻中国的雇用律师预计，从长远看，外籍员工缴纳社保费是不可避免的。
Jeffrey Wilson, counsel at JunHe Law Offices in Shanghai, who helped write a submission on the law on behalf of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, says he does not expect implementation in the short term. But most China-based employment attorneys expect that, in the longer term, inclusion of foreigners is inevitable.
2011-06-01 09:56 编辑：典典
The US Congress moved closer to punishing China for allegedly manipulating its currency, as a key committee of the House of Representatives voted to advance legislation that could