Zhejiang to extend marriage leave, offer subsidies to boost childbirth
Published: Jul 21, 2023 02:23 AM
Marriage Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

East China's Zhejiang Province has pledged to extend marriage leave in 2023, with supportive policies in maternity and health insurance, housing supply and tax subsidies, to stimulate the local childbirth rate.

"We clearly know that the situation of population development is still very serious and there is an imbalance between the supply and demand of fertility support policies, which exacerbates the problem of people 'not wanting children, not being able to afford to raise them,'" said Zhejiang's health commission.

The commission said it will extend the wedding leave from the previous three days, which local residents have complained about, as many other Chinese cities in areas such as North China's Shanxi and Northwest China's Gansu have prolonged the leave to nearly 30 days. The marriage leave in Henan is up to 28 days.

Like Zhejiang, places including Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan have only three days of marriage leave, but some are considering extending the marriage and maternity leave.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the number of marriage registrations across China reached 6.83 million in 2022, the lowest level since 1986. Experts said extending marriage leave alone will not be enough to boost the fertility rate, and that complementary policies will be needed, such as sharing the cost of maternity leave, guaranteeing women's employment and promoting affordable childcare.

Global Times