The Complete Guide to Offering Employee Benefits in China: Part 2

an Asian female employee smiling and looking at camera in front of a computer

By Ashutosh Agarwal, Manager, Global Benefits, GoGlobal

As China’s talent market becomes more competitive, the top priority for HR departments is enhancing the employee experience, according to the 2024 Mercer Global Talent Trends report.

Benefits can be a powerful tool, helping companies acquire, engage and retain talent while building a positive employer brand. While complying with mandatory benefits is essential, offering additional benefits can significantly enhance your attractiveness as an employer.

In the first part of our series on offering employee benefits in China, we covered the statutory benefits that all employers must provide. In this second installment, we focus on popular supplemental benefits in China.

Health and wellness

  • Supplemental Medical Insurance: Coverage from government-sponsored medical plans in China can be limited. To provide employees with better healthcare plans, many employers offer supplemental medical insurance. These packages can cover additional medical expenses not always included in the basic social insurance. This may include dental, mental health and special family-friendly coverage.
  • Wellness Programs: Implementing wellness programs that promote physical and mental health can improve employee satisfaction and productivity. Consider offering items like gym memberships, mental health support and wellness workshops.

Financial benefits

  • Performance Bonuses: Offering performance-based bonuses can motivate employees and align their goals with the company’s objectives. This may include annual bonuses, quarterly incentives or project-specific rewards. Excellent work can also be rewarded on a budget. Companies may choose to offer smaller items, such as gift cards to a local restaurant or an Ember mug.
  • Stock Options and Equity: Providing stock options or equity grants can be attractive for employees in China. This benefit instills a sense of ownership in the company and aligns employees’ interests with long-term business success. It is critical to review any equity plan in detail, preferably with the help of an expert partner.
  • Life Insurance: Workers’ compensation in China does not cover those who pass away from a disability or illness. Employers may therefore offer supplemental life insurance, extending financial security to the dependents of employees.
  • Financial Education and Management: Partnering with financial advisors to support employees with personal finances can be a valuable benefit. This can include workshops on budgeting, investment strategies and retirement planning. Additionally, one-on-one financial counseling can further assist employees in managing their finances effectively.

Work-life balance

  • Flexible Working Arrangements: Flexibility in working hours and the option to work remotely can enhance job satisfaction and work-life balance. This workplace feature can go a long way in making your company more attractive to top talent, including digital nomads. It may also boost productivity and reduce burnout, contributing to a healthier and more motivated workforce.
  • Paid Time Off: In addition to statutory leave, offering generous paid time off policies can improve employee morale and retention. This may include additional vacation time, extra paid sick days, paid personal days or flexible leave policies. Providing ample paid time off can set a healthier work-life balance, making your company more attractive to talent in China.

 Professional development

  • Training and Development Programs: Investing in your employees’ professional growth through training programs, workshops and courses can foster loyalty. In addition to retention, these programs can enhance skills to benefit both the individual and the company.
  • Education Assistance: Providing financial support for further education, such as tuition reimbursement for relevant courses or degrees, can be a valuable benefit for employees seeking to advance their careers. Like with training and professional development programs, education assistance can be a win-win for both the workforce and the company.

Cross-border HR solutions: ensuring compliance and administration

For international companies operating in China, it is critical to carefully design benefits plans that meet the expectations of the local workforce. Equally important is ensuring these benefits are administered properly and in compliance with complex local regulations.

Partnering with a local expert or using a global HR platform can help companies navigate the intricacies of Chinese regulations and streamline the benefits administration process.

Cross-border HR solutions can provide the necessary support to align practices with relevant laws, simplifying compliance and enhancing the efficiency of managing employee benefits. Additionally, these solutions can assist with other aspects of HR management, from recruitment to termination.

By investing in a well-rounded benefits program tailored to local expectations, you can attract and retain top professionals in the vibrant, competitive Chinese talent market.

Contact us today to discover how the GoGlobal Global Benefits Team can help you design benefits that fuel business expansion and hiring in China.