What allowances do employers commonly offer in China?
There are no common allowances in China. If you would like to provide allowances, the typical amounts for both expats and local nationals are as follows:
- Transportation (CNY 500–1,000 per month)
- Meals (CNY 500–1,000 per month)
- Phone/internet (CNY 200 per month)
What should my company offer as a work-from-home (WFH) allowance in China?
Employers are required to provide employees with the office supplies and equipment they need to carry out their jobs. There are no mandatory expenses or allowances that need to be granted for working from home, as these are agreed upon between the two parties. Equipment such as a laptop, desk, chair, or monitor and services such as phone and internet should be provided.
For equipment your supported employee needs to work from home, you can choose to either purchase and ship the equipment directly to them or have them pay for items and then submit the cost for reimbursement through Expensify.
All valid business expenses, such as office equipment, can be processed tax-free with corresponding fapiaos (official invoices or receipts) to back them up. While there is no statutory limit to the amount that can be spent, you should communicate limits for each category to your supported employee based on your internal expense policy.
You should also share clear guidance with your supported employees on what will be reimbursable and if there are any internal limits for different categories.
What considerations are there around meal allowances and reimbursements?
Recurring meal allowances can be paid through the supported employee’s payroll and will be subject to salary tax. Meal reimbursements, with receipt, will be reimbursable to the supported employee tax-free.