Maternity & marriage leave in China



Maternity leave and marriage leave, changes with the family planning new regulation enforced from January 1st 2016: if you are an expatriate women working in China and you become pregnant, or if you are an employer or even leading a team in China, or if you become father in China, or if you get married while being employed in China, you will find helpful information in this article!

China is encouraging 2nd children: Maternity leave increasing

Since 2012, the maternity leave was 98 days (including 15 days before the delivery and 75 days after the child birth). During the first year of the child, women can rest for one hour during their work, an hour still considered a working one.
Besides, you have some exceptions: if the mother encounters difficulties during the childbirth, the maternity leave will be extended of 15 days, or if the child birth are more than one (twins for example), the government adds extra 15 days for each child.

maternityFrom January 1st 2016,  all families can have 2 children (with a two-child policy replacing the one-child policy) and the maternity leave has been extended from 98 days to 128 days for the mother. Besides, for the first time ever, the law gives the father 15 days off. The government is trying to encourage natality!  

Extension of the maternity leave BUT ‘late childbirth’ (having a child after the age of 24) is no longer getting extra days (used to represent from 15 up to 60 days depending on the province). The maternity leave duration is not anymore linked to the age of the mother.

Besides National regulation, local legislation (by Province) may provide their own additions:
– Shandong: + extra 60 days but no father parental leave
– Shanghai: + extra 60 days

In case of miscarriage, the law gives 30 days leave if the abortion 流产 (liúchǎn) is within 4 months of pregnancy and 42 days if after 4 months.

Additional leave or non-working hours: Starting from the 12th week of pregnancy, a pregnant employee is entitled to paid leave for attending prenatal check-ups. During the first year of the child, the new mother is entitled to one hour rest during working hours (breast-feeding rest of one hour each day during work hours).


A few examples of parental leave in the world

  Maternity leave Paternity leave
China 128 days 15 days
India 84 days up to 15 days
Belgium 105 days 15 days
France 112 days 15 days
Germany 98 days


Maternity allowance

During the maternity leave, women receive an allowance in lieu of salary. The Social Security Bureau where the woman is registered (assuming her employer has participated in maternity insurance) is paying the allowance: the amount will be the highest amount from either the employee’s monthly salary or the average monthly salary of all employees over the last 12 months in Beijing and Shanghai BUT in other provinces, the amount should be less than three times the average salary in the Bureau’s jurisdiction (any amount above will be born by the employer).


For expatriates living in Beijing, their employer should contribute to the maternity insurance scheme (not mandatory in Shanghai) and they will receive the maternity allowance. In case the contribution was not paid, the company is responsible to pay the full salary.

Last but not least, the Chinese law protects pregnant women: it is illegal to terminate a pregnant employee during her pregnancy, maternity leave or breast-feeding period (date of birth + one year). And if an employee gets pregnant during her fixed-term contract, the contract will be automatically extended to cover the pregnancy and one year breast-feeding period.

Marriage leave

The seven-day marriage holiday for older couples is cancelled (couples getting married after 25 for the husband and 23 for the wife were entitled of extra days for late marriage before 1/1/2016). 

Besides, the marriage leave is abandoned nationwide: newly married couples are not anymore entitled to additional marriage holidays. 




China’s New ‘Family Planning’ Regulations: What They Contain and How They’ll Affect Foreign Businesses

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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!