The Shanghai High People’s Court and the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau jointly published the Guiding Opinions on Judicial Hearing of Labor Disputes under Influence of the COVID-19 (the “Guiding Opinions”). The Guiding Opinions emphasise four general principles to be followed by different levels of courts when hearing labour dispute cases under the influence of COVID 19. With regard to the relationship between the employer and employee, the four principles are (1) insisting on negotiation and resolving labour disputes through settlement; (2) insisting on balanced protection for both the company’s business interests and individual personal rights; (3) insisting on stabilisation of employment contracts and reducing termination of employment; and (4) insisting on cooperation for further performance of employment through change of working hours, workplace and performance methods. In addition, the Guiding Opinions also clarify about the applicable rules for salary payment, suspension of operation, employment contract termination, severance payment, reduction or delayed payment of salary, the model of shared employees, and calculation of the statutory limitation period under the influence of COVID-19.
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