As promised, here is a followup on what’s happening in Guangdong. Pursuant to the amended PRC Law on Population and Family Planning and China’s nationwide two-children policy, major provinces/cities in China have all extended the mandatory maternity leave. As with almost everything having to do with Chinese employment laws, there is a variance in such rules around the nation. See China Employment Law: Local and Not So Simple
As I previously wrote, Guangdong was the first province in China come up with its own amended regulations in dealing with two child families which took effect on January 1, 2016. This amendment increased maternity leave from 98 to 128 days. Now these regulations have been amended again, extending the maternity leave to 178 days, 50 days more than other major cities such as Shanghai (128 days). The special leave for a spouse whose wife gives birth stays the same at 15 days, which puts it roughly in the middle of the chart as compared to other places: for example, it is longer than Shanghai (10 days) but shorter than Guangxi (25 days).
If you think this leave time is long, check out the leave time in Heilongjiang or Gansu: both of which require employers give their female workers 180 days of maternity leave. One question our China lawyers often get is how/whether this applies to all employees, including expats. The spirit of the national law seems to indicate yes, but this is anything but a simple question. To get a definitive answer, you should check what your own employer/employee documents say and the rules in your specific locale. On top of this, since these sorts of things can be highly fact specific and you do not want to get anything wrong, it is important that your own employee contracts be clear and in compliance with all applicable laws.
Please stay tuned for any further developments on China’s still new two-child policies.
We will be discussing the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts business there. We will be telling you what works and what does not and what you as a businessperson can do to use the law to your advantage. Our aim is to assist businesses already in China or planning to go into China, not to break new ground in legal theory or policy.