The recently published 2024 official Holiday calendar in China does not include Chinese New Year’s Eve, however employers are encouraged to arrange paid leave for employees that day.
Each year, China has seven public holidays enjoyed by all citizens: New Year, the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), the Qingming Festival, Labor Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day.
On October 25, the State Council released the official China public holiday 2024 schedule. Like every year, the holiday calendar includes two major week-long holidays (referred to as ‘Golden Week’): Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and the National Day holiday.
The Spring Festival is China's most important festival and holiday. People enjoy a week's holiday for family reunions, and many traditions and activities are pursued during that time.
The Chinese New Year’s Eve for 2024 (February 9, 2024) is labeled as a working day in the official schedule. However, the circular recommends companies to arrange paid leave on that day for their employees.
In terms of travel, Chinese New Year is one of the low seasons for tourism, yet it's one of the best times for experiencing Chinese culture.
In 2024, Spring Festival falls between February 10 and 17, and the National Day holiday falls between October 1 and 7, with the Mid-Autumn Festival happening from September 15 to 17.
Chinese people have a 5-day holiday in Labor Day (May Day). This is one of the peak times for travel during the year.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival, is the second most important event in China and workers have 3 days off. Some of the most traditional customs during this celebration include family gatherings, admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes, and lantern lighting.
Foreign companies operating in China should plan their calendars accordingly. Human resources departments should consider that Saturdays and Sundays are often marked as additional official workdays in China to compensate for long holiday breaks.
In 2024, February 4 (Sunday) and February 18 (Sunday) are designated as workdays to partially offset the seven days off for the Spring Festival.
Additional days off can be scheduled by private companies in China, as long as the official holiday calendar is respected.
The following list enumerates the 2024 official public holiday schedule in China:
New Year, January 1, 2024 (one rest day)
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), February 10 to February 17, 2024 (eight rest days in total)
Employers should arrange paid leave for employees on Chinese New Year’s Eve (February 9)
Adjusted working days: February 4, 2024 (Sunday) and February 18, 2024 (Sunday)
Tomb Sweeping Festival (Ching Ming Festival), April 4 to April 6, 2024 (three rest days in total, in connection with one weekend day)
Adjusted working days: April 7, 2024 (Sunday)
Labor Day, May 1 to May 5, 2024 (five rest days in total)
Adjusted working days: April 28, 2024 (Sunday) and May 11, 2024 (Saturday)
Dragon Boat Festival, June 10, 2024 (three rest days in total, in connection with the weekend)
Mid-Autumn Festival, September 15 to September 17, 2024 (three rest days in total)
Adjusted working days: September 24, 2024 (Saturday)
National Day, October 1 to October 7, 2024 (seven rest days in total)
Adjusted working days: September 29, 2024 (Sunday) and October 12, 2024 (Saturday)
Overtime payment on holidays
The overtime payment on holidays varies depending on the type of rest days and the working hour system implemented.
Under the standard working hour system, for work on an official public holiday, not less than 300 percent of the normal wage shall be paid; for work on an adjusted rest day, and where such rest days cannot be postponed and taken at another time, not less than 200 percent of the normal wage shall be paid.
Under the comprehensive working hour system, for work performed on public holidays not less than 300 percent of the normal wage shall be paid. However, no rest day is outlined under this system, so that for work performed on those adjusted working days and weekends, no overtime payments are available.
Under the non-fixed work hour system, no less than 300 percent of the normal wage shall be paid for work on public holidays. The overtime regulations differ according to the region.
In Beijing, employees under the non-fixed work hour system are not entitled to overtime pay for hours worked on public holidays. In Shanghai, these hours are considered overtime, and employers are required to pay compensation of up to 300 percent of the normal wage.
No overtime payment is due for adjusted working days on weekends.
Human Resources departments in foreign companies should plan accordingly.
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