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March 30, 2011

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No permit, no rights for expats

EXPATS working for Chinese companies must have employment and residence permits or their rights may not be protected by law, judges warned yesterday.

This follows two labor disputes concerning foreigners handled by Jing'an District People's Court.

The court ruled they were not entitled to receive some payments in lieu of notice or compensation as they did not have the correct paperwork.

In one case, a Singaporean was hired to be sales and marketing director of a wine company in March 2008, with an annual salary of 1 million yuan (US$152,420).

He signed a three-year contract with the company but his employer didn't apply for an employment permit for him.

The company asked the Singaporean to leave in February 2009 and confirmed it owed him 83,000 yuan in payment and 53,000 yuan in reimbursement.

But the man didn't receive any money from the company, despite lengthy negotiations.

He sued late last year for 83,000 yuan in payment in lieu of notice and 91,000 yuan in compensation for terminating his contract early, in addition to the 136,000 yuan in delayed payment confirmed by the company.

The court only supported the request for 136,000 yuan because there was no labor relation between the Singaporean and the company without an employment certificate.

In a similar case, a Frenchman was judged to receive only 11,000 yuan from a local hotel.

The man was employed as head chef by the hotel in August 2008 on a monthly salary of 25,000 yuan.

He returned to France on June 1, 2009 to apply for a working visa because his residence permit was due to expire on June 14.

But because he couldn't get a visa, the hotel fired him.

The Frenchman sued, seeking three months' salary and 25,000 yuan in compensation.

The court judged he was entitled to salary from June 1 to June 14, 2009 - after which time his residence permit expired.

He was not due any other compensation as he had no employment permit, the court ruled.


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