Latest Updates on China’s Two Sessions – A Must-Know List of Policies Closely Related to HR

On March 5, 2022, the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress was held in Beijing, and Premier Li Keqiang delivered the annual government work report. The report teemed with key points and information about human resources such as employment, social security, finance, and taxation is regarded as a signal for employees, businesses and human resources service organisations to make active responses and adjustments. Next up, let’s run through the details closely related to HR in the 2022 government work report.

Stable Employment

Key Policy Points: Expanding Employment, Policy Support

China’s economic development and social stability mostly depend on employment, which is the focus of attention at the Two Sessions (the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) every year. For the first time in history, the number of college graduates has exceeded 10 million this year. With the largest increase in recent years, the situation has brought enormous pressure on employment.

Under this background, the government work report underlined the employment issues, emphasising the need to keep the operations of market entities stable and maintain job security by strengthening macro policies.

1.      More than 11 million new jobs in the urban areas will be created.

2.      Over 10 million students are due to graduate from college this year, and we will give our graduates stronger guidance and policy support and uninterrupted services to ensure they can find jobs or start businesses.

3.      We will work hard to prevent and stop gender, age, and education discrimination in the workplace and focus on addressing acute issues that are infringing upon employees’ lawful rights and interests.

4.      Temporary policies such as reductions to premiums for unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation will be extended.

5.      We will work to broaden the employment channels, promote employment stability by keeping the operations of market entities stable, and harness the role of business startups in boosting employment.

6.      Fiscal and financial policies will facilitate the implementation of the employment-first policy, and greater support will be provided for enterprises to stabilise and expand employment.

7.      All local governments must use every possible means to stabilise employment and expand it further.

8.      We will work to nurture specialised and sophisticated enterprises that produce new and unique products and provide them with more support in terms of funding, personnel, and development of business incubation platforms.

Support Entrepreneurship

Key Policy Points: Encourage Entrepreneurship, Policy Subsidies

Employment can solve job problems while entrepreneurship has a leverage effect. A small startup company usually provides a dozen or dozens of jobs.

Encouraging entrepreneurship can also be regarded as a type of national or local venture investment in talent. Reducing the trial-and-error cost of entrepreneurs and increasing their trial-and-error opportunities may yield “excessive returns”.

1.      Corporate income tax on annual taxable income of between one million and three million yuan will be halved once again for micro and small enterprises.

2.      We will further improve the system for refunding excess input VAT credits and issue VAT credit refunds ahead of time this year on a big scale. We will give priority to micro and small enterprises, refunding outstanding VAT credits to them in one lump sum by the end of June, while also fully refunding newly added credits. With a focus on supporting manufacturing, we will work to fully resolve problems in refunding VAT credits in manufacturing, research and technical services, environmental protection, electricity and gas, and transportation industries.

3.      Tax refunds and cuts are expected to total 2.5 trillion yuan this year. VAT credit refunds will account for 1.5 trillion yuan of this sum, and all go straight to enterprises.

4.      The government financing guarantee will be expanded to cover more micro and small businesses. We will help resolve the financing difficulties of enterprises in the real economy, especially MSMEs.

5.      A temporary exemption on VAT payments will be granted to small taxpayers.

6.      We will continue the policy of refunding unemployment insurance premiums for enterprises that make no cuts or minimal cuts to staff numbers, with a marked increase in the proportion of refunds going to MSMEs.

7.      All dedicated employment policies will be strengthened and improved, and we will resolutely act to overhaul or abolish excessive restrictions on employment and business startups.

8.      We will do more to promote business startups and innovation initiatives, and improve the service capacity of entrepreneurship and innovation platforms.

Strengthen Social Security

Key Policy Points: Flexible Employment, Strengthen Security

Currently, there are 200 million flexible employees in China, nearly three times that in 2020. The report proposes that on the one hand, it is necessary to improve the social security work for the employed, such as Didi drivers and takeaway lads with five insurances and the housing provident fund; On the other hand, we will launch trials of occupational injury insurance for people in new forms of employment so as to make workers feel more secure.

1.      We will improve services and social security policies concerning flexible employment, and launch trials of occupational injury insurance for people in new forms of employment.

2.      A total of 100 billion yuan from the unemployment insurance fund will be used to support enterprises in maintaining stable payrolls and providing training programs, and we will speed up the training of skilled workers who are urgently needed to promote high-quality development of manufacturing. These efforts will enable more workers to acquire marketable skills and large numbers of talented people to come to the fore in all sectors.

3.      We will work steadily toward national unified management of basic old-age insurance funds for enterprise employees, appropriately raise the basic pensions for retirees and basic old-age benefits for rural and non-working urban residents, and ensure that these payments are made on time and in full.

4.      We will improve the supporting measures for the three-child policy, make care expenses for children under three years old part of the special additional deductions for individual income tax, and develop public-interest childcare services through multiple channels, to reduce the costs of giving birth and raising and educating children.

5.      We will step up the construction of supporting facilities for community elderly and child care, and increase support for such projects in the aspects of planning, land use and building use.

6.      Government subsidies for basic medical insurance for rural and non-working urban residents will be increased by an average of 30 yuan per person, and subsidies for basic public health services will be increased by an average of 5 yuan per person. The unified management of basic medical insurance funds will be advanced at the provincial level.

Promote Scientific and Technological Innovation

Key Policy Points: Increase Investment, Attach Importance To Talents

Making breakthroughs in “bottleneck” technologies and accelerating the pace of developing key core technologies was one of the key topics at last year’s Two Sessions. In order to further give an impetus to businesses in scientific and technological innovation, the government will continue to push on with the work on key core technologies with enterprises as the main entities this year and make deployments closely related to innovation-oriented national development such as technology research and development, main entities support and platform building.

1.      We will enhance the policy on granting additional tax deductions for R&D costs, raising the deduction coverage for small and medium sci-tech enterprises from 75%to 100%.

2.      We will implement a three-year action plan for reforming the science and technology management system, reinforce China’s strategic science and technology capabilities, further develop national laboratories and key national laboratories, and leverage the strengths of universities, colleges, and research institutes, and improve the approval procedures for major science and technology projects and their management.

3.      We will support local governments in increasing spending on science and technology and encourage innovations with distinctive regional features. We will continue to engage in international scientific and technological cooperation.

4.      We will advance the reform of scientific research institutes, improve the methods for establishing and managing major science and technology projects, and step up efforts to build talent centres and innovation hubs of global importance.

5.      We will provide more support to young researchers, and encourage outstanding people of all types to devote themselves to research and realise their full potential.

There are many policies and regulations closely related to employees, from the social security accumulation fund to individual tax payment, and many of these policies are constantly updated and changed with the development of the times. It is indeed an uphill battle for HR to fully understand these complicated rules and regulations. Yet, these rules and regulations are so closely linked to each individual’s rights and interests that they must take the issue seriously.

*Please use the information as a general guide, to learn more please contact our team!

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