China is encouraging couples to have children to increase their workforce. As part of this, they have focused on increasing maternity leave after relaxing birth control rules. Authorities in several cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have already announced an extension of maternity leave. This is according to a report by the AFP news agency.
China currently has a national 96-day maternity leave system. At this time working women get full salary. However, the provision of maternity leave varies locally in different parts of the country. The local government in Beijing announced on Friday that women will now receive 156 days of maternity leave. The number of holidays in the city is increasing by 30 days as compared to the rule that was in force for so many days. A day earlier, the Shanghai authorities made a similar announcement.
In eastern Zhejiang province, mothers who have given birth to their second or third child have been given 18 days off.
New fathers in Beijing can also extend their scheduled paternity leave if they wish. However, in this case, he has to share his wife’s leave. Zhejiang Province has 15 days and Shanghai has 10 days of paternity leave.
There have been various discussions on the Internet about extending maternity leave in different parts of China. Some fear that the decision will increase the unemployment rate for women. Many organizations will now think twice before hiring female staff. Some have questioned Beijing’s decision to keep the 15-day paternity leave unchanged.
Last year, there were 8.52 newborns per 1,000 population in China. This is the lowest birth rate since 198. Since 1986, China has been recording the number of newborns annually.
According to the AFP news agency, China is facing a manpower crisis due to low birth rates. The number of older people in the workplace is increasing, the economic momentum is declining.
In 2017, China moved away from the strict ‘one child policy’. It was announced that year that any couple could have two children. Earlier this year, the rules were changed again to allow three children to be born. However, due to the high cost of living, the initiative has not been successful so far.