Keywords: public holidays, China, change, New Year's Eve

On 11 December 2013 the PRC State Council amended the Regulations on Public Holidays for National Annual Festivals and Memorial Days (the "Amendment"). The Amendment takes effect from 1 January 2014. According to the Amendment, the total number of public holidays remains unchanged (i.e., 11 days per calendar day), but the key change is that Chinese New Year's Eve will no longer be a public holiday.

Specifically, under the Amendment, the new schedule of public holidays in 2014 is as follows:

  • New Year's Day: 1 day in total (i.e., 1 January).
  • Spring Festival (i.e., Lunar New Year): 3 days in total (i.e., Lunar New Year's Day plus the second and third days of the Lunar New Year). For 2014, employees are on leave from 31 January to 6 February inclusive, but need to work on 26 January (Sunday) and 8 February (Saturday).
  • Ching Ming Festival (i.e., Tomb Sweeping Day): 1 day in total (i.e., 5 April for 2014); 7 April 2014 (Monday) is a compensatory off-day.
  • Labour Day: 1 day in total (i.e., 1 May). For 2014, employees are on leave from 1 to 3 May inclusive, but need to work on 4 May (Sunday).
  • Tuen Ng Festival (i.e., Dragon Boat Festival): 1 day in total (i.e., 2 June for 2014).
  • Mid-Autumn Festival (i.e., Moon Festival): 1 day in total (i.e., 8 September for 2014).
  • National Day: 3 days in total (i.e., 1, 2 and 3 October). For 2014, employees are on leave from 1 to 7 October inclusive, but need to work on 28 September (Sunday) and 11 October (Saturday).

Employers in China should take note of the above Amendment for public holidays when scheduling the working days for employees and paying the relevant overtime pay. (Note that under the PRC employment law, employees who are required to work on statutory public holidays are entitled to 300 percent of their regular wage and no time off in lieu is permissible.)

Originally published 12 December 2013

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