NPC deputy proposes extended paternity leave for better parenting

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/14 21:58:40

A father tutors his daughter while his wife comforts their younger son. Photo: IC

A deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) has proposed that paternal leave be extended to at least 42 days to give the father greater parenting responsibility and provide the woman an incentive to give birth.  

The proposal was raised by Lin Yong, who is also a vice chairman of the China Democratic National Construction Association Guangdong Provincial Committee, according to a Thursday report from news portal The Paper.

The current rule states that female workers have a 98-day maternity leave. Rules in the provinces vary from 30-80 days, with most granting a 60-day leave. However, paternity leaves only last from 7-30 days, with most at 15 days in the provinces. 

Lin recommended a paternity leave of no less than 42 days, and it should be mandatory for men to share in parenting. It also helps increase women's childbearing desire and improve family education. 

Women with two children are more likely to take a greater parenting burden because of the short paternity holiday, said Lin, adding that leaving children with their grandparents is not practical since they are too old to take care of their grandchildren by themselves.

Another reason is that female employees have to be off from work for antenatal care and miscarriage prevention during pregnancy, and have a maternity leave of close to half a year, which makes companies more inclined to hire men instead, Lin said. 

A total of 30 regions in China have extended paid maternity leaves to up to a year since 2017, a year after the country amended its family planning policy to allow families to have a second child.

Some cities also granted subsidies to families of four. Yichang in Central China's Hubei Province offers free child delivery services to women having a second child, and Xiantao in the province even gives couples 1,200 yuan ($179) for giving birth to a second child.

Couples are also entitled to extend their leaves up to a combined 365 days, including statutory maternity leaves, and will be paid 75 percent of their expenses during the extension period, Lin said. 

Global Times


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