With the world’s second largest economy in terms of GDP, it’s not surprising most businesses are finding themselves expanding into China as a growing market. Often, setting up a branch in China seems like the quickest way to immerse the business into the culture and gain a stable footing in the economy by establishing literal feet on the ground.
Sourcing local members of staff will undoubtedly hasten a business’s establishment, but companies need to send over staff too, which it where it pays off to understand Chinese employment law. Working hours, conditions and tax implications all need to be considered, and understanding the advantages of a different system of work might bring about positive changes across the whole company.
Similarly, generic international employment law training will give staff a wider understanding of how the business needs to operate globally, which in itself can be a minefield. However, again this can be used greatly to a company’s advantage if different working environments are evaluated and best practices established and disseminated across the entire business.
Take Australia for example, there the system for entering the country for work is one of the strictest anywhere in the world. The process for applying for the correct work visa is well-known for being extremely thorough, and workers are liable to be turned away by border control if they enter the country without the exact right visa. Therefore it’s imperative that when transferring staff abroad – even for short periods of work – that the correct visa is gained.
With London Mayor Boris Johnson currently calling for greater leniency in regards to Australian immigrants coming to the UK to work, now might be precisely the time to get established in Australia too, to exploit the future potential for ease of staff work transfer between the two countries. Unlike establishing a set up in China, the obvious advantage of a shared language between the UK and ‘down under’ means a greater percentage of staff are eligible, and probably more willing, to transfer.
However, with the staff brave enough (or perhaps fond enough of the cuisine to venture across the world for it) to go to China, make sure that they are fluent in the legalities of trading in the country of the great wall prior to arrival so they can hit the ground running once they’re over the jetlag and have located the best place within 50 yards of their new home for dim sum and Peking duck.