How quickly can employees start working in China?

According to the relevant laws and regulations in China, it is mandatory for the company to enter into a labor contract with the employee within 30 days of their employment. However, in practice, social insurance authority usually require the enrollment by the first half of each month. 

This implies that if we intend to ensure that the Onboarding employee's Employment Agreement becomes effective and they receive 1st pay within the same month, we need to plan ahead accordingly. Except expat employee who must obtain a work permit  for upcoming local candidates onboarding, we are expecting the following onboarding smooth jounery with you and your employee


  • WD1: You raise the request for New Hire
  • WD2-3: Horizons Onboarding Team will draft up the employment agreement and other necessary documents for your online review within 48 working hours.
  • WD4-5: Once Client Rep kindly approve Draft onthe portal and input his/her email address.
  • WD5-6: The candidate will register on our portal as users and initiate submission of their personal data.
  • WD6-7: Our dedicated onboarding team will finalize the employee agreement and present it to employees for signing as per requirements.

WD= Workday

We highly recommend raise the New Hire Request as soon as you reached out an initial agreement on job offer with the candidate and  allowing at least 7 working days in advance to the 15th for the entire onboarding process before expecting an employee's official hiring date while ensuring timely payment within that particular month.


Q: What if we are unable to complete the onboarding process before the 15th of Month X as initially expected?

A:  In order to ensure a smooth onboarding process, it is important to carefully consider the timeline for completion. 

If it becomes apparent that the onboarding process will not be completed before the 15th of the month of commencement (Month X), it may be wise to postpone the start date until the 1st of the following month (Month X+1). This will allow sufficient time for all necessary paperwork and procedures to be completed without rushing or cutting corners.

Furthermore, if at any point during the onboarding process there are unexpected delays or difficulties, such as issues with reviewing and approving employment agreements or problems with personal details submission, it may also be advisable to consider postponing as well.

This will allow sufficient time for a thorough and comprehensive onboarding experience, ensuring that all necessary paperwork, and benefit enrollment processes are completed smoothly. 

To compensate for an initial engagement , it may be appropriate to offer a sign-on bonus at a certain amount. 

However, it is important to note that during this period of delayed onboarding, it would be prudent not to involve the employee in any work-related activities or responsibilities without their social insurance being fully enrolled. Ensuring compliance with legal requirements and protecting both parties' interests should remain a priority.


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