CHINA – Beijing Labour Bureau Refusing Third Party Applications
A new regulation is due to be implemented at the labour bureau in Beijing, requiring company employee representatives to submit employment licence applications directly, rather than via a third party representative or agent, with effect from 1 February 2013.
Who May Submit Applications?
From 1 February 2013, employment licence applications must be submitted by a legal representative of the Chinese company employing the foreign national. This legal representative should be an employee of the company and have direct authority over the hiring of the foreign national. The representative should be able to prove his/her authority, preferably by means of a power of attorney.
Official Change in Policy?
There has been no official launch of a new policy and no official change in the regulations. However, a notice has been placed on the notice board at the labour bureau in Beijing.
Background to Change
The change is likely occurring due to an upcoming election in China, and a need for the authorities to focus on compliance. By requesting company representatives to submit applications themselves rather than via an agency, the authorities are better able to scrutinise applications and ensure that they are to fill a genuine need.
Is This a Permanent Change?
Since no new regulations have been officially announced, it is hard to say whether the change will be permanent or not. Since the change has a significant day-to-day impact on corporations doing business in Beijing, it seems likely that the authorities will relent in the coming months and reverse the new ruling.
So far, this requirement has not been implemented in any other regions in China.
- It is recommended that, where possible, any applications for employment licences in Beijing are submitted prior to 1 February 2013
- For ongoing applications, establish who in your Beijing entity will be responsible for submitting the employment licence application and ensure that they have the means to prove their authority to do so (i.e. power of attorney)