The “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Mediation and Arbitration of Labor Disputes” (“the New Law”) came into force on May 1, 2008. This promulgation has introduced many innovative concepts to Chinese law. The most notable change was the extension of the statutory period for filing arbitration applications in labor disputes.
By Xu Xiaodan, King & Wood’s International Litigation & Arbitration Group.
According to the “Labor Law of The People’s Republic of China,” which was implemented on Jan 1, 1995, the statutory period to file an arbitration application in labor disputes was 60 days commencing from the date the parties actually became aware of the dispute or should have become aware. The New Law extended the period to all circumstances, but gives an even longer time to apply in certain circumstances as mentioned below.
In addition, the new law further provides that when salary payments are in arrears and the aggrieved laborer fails to apply for arbitration for fear of retaliation, this statutory period can be further extended. This is not applicable in the case where an employment is terminated; in such cases the one year limitation shall be strictly construed.
It is also worth noting that this further extension for filing arbitration applications is only applicable to cases where “salary payments are in arrears.” In other cases, such as the employer violating social security and welfare rights, the required period for filing shall be one year, which is calculated from the date the parties were aware or should have been aware of the disputes.
作者：徐晓丹, 诉讼仲裁组 国际诉讼部