This chapter is talking about ways to get out of your Contract of Employment without paying a penalty (违约金).

My book quotes 《北京市劳动合同规定》第三十五条


If I translate this, it seems to say:

"(4) (If) The employer illegally pays Social Security for the employee." which is a bit crazy, and cannot be the intended meaning.

You can get out of your Contract of Employment if the employer does not pay the legally required Social Security contributions.

Is there a mistake in the Chinese? I only see one negative here ‘未’ and it seems to be attached to '依法‘,and not negating '缴纳‘. There seems to be a negative missing,or does '未‘ somehow also have scope over '缴纳‘?

  • 1
    未依法 does not, as required by law
    – user6065
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:34
  • "未" negates "依法为劳动者缴纳社会保险费". This pattern is common and unambiguous in formal writing e.g. academic or legal documents, however, I can see how similar structures can be ambiguous in spoken language.
    – NS.X.
    Jun 23, 2015 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


未 actually attaches to 缴纳. 依法 is an adverb here that also attaches to 缴纳, and mostly still an adverb in other places, meaning a certain interest, requirement or enforcement is specified in and/or supported by national law. It's related to but not "legal," which corresponds to 合法.

This whole sentence can be translated into the following:

(When) The employer fails to pay social insurance for the employee, which is required by law.

Disclaimer: I have not been trained in law settings.


There is only one main verb 缴纳 and 未 negates it. Both 依法 and 为劳动者 are adverbs that add information to the verb, and they go before the verb. Depending on how much you wish to convey about the verb, you can have the following affirmative and negative sentences:

用人单位缴纳社会保险费 / 用人单位未缴纳社会保险费

用人单位为劳动者缴纳社会保险费 / 用人单位未为劳动者缴纳社会保险费

用人单位依法缴纳社会保险费 /用人单位未依法缴纳社会保险费

用人单位依法为劳动者缴纳社会保险费 / 用人单位未依法为劳动者缴纳社会保险费

依法 is not a verb and is not negated by 未. There is no ambiguity here.

If you wish to say "The employer illegally pays Social Security for the employee", you will say something like 用人单位違法为劳动者缴纳社会保险费。

違法 against the law

依法 according to the law

Hope that helps.

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