Renewed focus on collective agreements

An increase in strikes in China, including recent campaigns at a number of international businesses has given new impetus to previous efforts to put in place a collective bargaining regime. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a notice that, by the end of 2015, collective agreements must cover 80% of the employers in China. While the Notice does have a direct effect on employers, the expectation is that it will accelerate the trend towards compulsory collective bargaining rules in all provinces.

For more detail the full version of our recent China Employment Law Alert is available: Employers Prepare for Compulsory Collective Bargaining.

What does this mean for employers?

While Australia has a well-established collective bargaining regime, developments of this nature are always of interest. It’s possible that aspects of our system may be used in developing the new regulation in China. More importantly, clients who have operations in China should assess whether they are prepared for any new developments, and consider if their own collective bargaining experiences could assist in preparing a strategy for their China operation.