UPDATED:Preparing for employees returning to work after Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is usually a time for many Chinese citizens to return home and celebrate the new year. However, amidst the ongoing pandemic and domestic cases, only necessary travel is encouraged during the Chinese New Year. Provincial and municipal governments across China have issued local travel restrictions, nucleic test requirements, and mandatory quarantine for individuals entering from medium to high-risk areas and regions.

For employers, such provisions and unpredictable breakouts can directly impact business operations after the holidays. Namely, if a sudden incident leaves employee(s) quarantined at home for 14 days or more or unable to travel back. Whilst work from home arrangements could be approved by human resources, clear employee guidelines and notification are essential to avoid any employee disputes and business disruption. 

At Horizons, we are advising clients in updating employee return to work policies to ensure the business can recommence efficiently. In the below, we outline five steps to implement in your return to work policies.

  • Before the holiday period, employees should be timely notified of policies and procedures on disruptions in returning to work due to travel restrictions, including timely notification, work from home arrangements, arrangements where the employee cannot work from home, and so forth.
  • Employee policies and procedures should be updated accordingly to the latest labour laws and rules and regulations.
  • Notifications should be clear and visible – such as via email or written notification to each employee so that employees have clearly received such notice.
  • If employers request travel plans and personal data to reduce COVID-19 risk, written notifications should be timely sent to employees, and data collection should comply with the relevant data protection laws.
  • If employers request nucleic tests from employees, sufficient notice should be sent with any specific requirements, such as health organisation, validation period of nucleic test, reimbursement policy, and so forth. 
  • Employers may offer incentives for employees to remain in the city, especially where employees cannot work remotely. Although, such incentives should adhere to the company policies.

Equally, employers should be prepared and remain alert during the holiday period to ensure business continuity after the Chinese New Year.

Talk to us

At Horizons, we offer seasoned human resources expertise to enable your business to thrive in China and if you would like to speak with us, please contact us at +86 21 5356 3400 or talktous@horizons-advisory.com.