Update on China's birth planning policy changes

Be Alert Asia Pacific: employment law e-bulletin

A number of provinces and cities in China have updated their regulations around marriage leave, maternity leave and paternity leave to reflect changes in the new PRC Population and Birth Planning Law, on which we reported in January here. The latest to do so is Beijing, which published its implementing regulation on March 24th.

According to the new law, all couples nationwide are now allowed to have two children. Although details of each local regulation vary, in general, changes are more favorable to the employees and allow for longer and broader eligibility for marriage leave, maternity leave and paternity leave.

Below is a summary of the changes for Guangdong, Shanghai, and Beijing:

Old rules

New rules

Marriage leave

Guangdong:

3 days

plus 10 days' late marriage leave (if marrying at age 23 or above for women and 25 or above for men).

3 days

Shanghai:

3 days

plus 7 days' late marriage leave (if marrying at age 23 or above for women and 25 or above for men).

3 days

plus 7 days' additional marriage leave (for all married couples, not just late marriage).

Beijing:

3 days

plus 7 days' late marriage leave (if marrying at age 23 or above for women and 25 or above for men).

3 days

plus 7 days' additional marriage leave (for all married couples, not just late marriage).

Maternity leave

Guangdong:

98 days

plus 15 days' late birth leave (for women giving birth at age 24 or above and normally for first child only).

plus 35 days with single child certificate.

128 days for all women, regardless of age and for both first and second child.

Shanghai:

98 days

plus 30 days' late birth leave (for women giving birth at age 24 or above and normally for first child only).

128 days for all women, regardless of age and for both first and second child.

Beijing:

98 days

plus 30 days' late birth leave (for women giving birth at age 24 or above and normally for first child only).

plus 3 months with single child certificate but only with employer consent - single child benefits will be postponed for 3 years.

128 days for all women, regardless of age and for both first and second child.

plus 3 months with consent of the employer.

Paternity leave

Guangdong:

10 days with single child certificate

15 days

Shanghai:

3 days

10 days

Beijing:

None (unless spouse does not use the late birth leave, which rarely happens).

15 days


Employers should update any relevant contracts or policies to ensure that these now reflect the new rules. They are also advised to remove any negative implications for employees giving birth to their second child and apply the same benefits to them as those who are giving birth to their first child.