chinese mothers babies

In Effort to Promote Second Children, Shanghai Extends Maternity Leave

Shanghai extends maternity leave from 98 to 128 days

Shanghai has joined a number of regions around China that have extended benefits for maternity leave as a way to promote couples to have a second child, now permissible with the abolition of the one-child policy earlier this year.

The Law on Population and Family Planning, to come in effect in Shanghai on March 1, will grant mothers an additional 30-days of maternity leave in conjunction with the current 98 days granted by national laws, giving Shanghai mothers a total of 128 days of maternity leave.

New Shanghainese fathers are also extended benefits, with paid paternity leave extended from 3 to 10 days.

Shanghai joins Beijing and Shandong in following the lead of Guangdong, which had first offered the extended benefits earlier this year.

As of January 1, Guangdong mothers were given an additional 30 days on top of the nationally-mandated maternity leave, while husbands will now be given 15 days off to spend with their wife and new child. Beijing also looks to increase maternity leave from 98 days to 128 days, while Shandong will increase maternity leave for its residents to a full 60 days.

The national maternity leave was last altered in 2012 when it was extended from 90 to 98 days.

About 90 million families are estimated to qualify for the revised second-child policy, thought to help raise the population of China to an estimated 1.45 billion by 2030. The population of China in 2014 was 1.37 billion.

China revealed a conditional two-child policy at the end of 2014 which was revised to be fully unconditional with the abolition of the long-standing one-child policy which was first implemented in 1979.

Population controls are now being relaxed in order to alleviate oncoming labor shortages as well as a gender gap that estimates a disparity of 30 million more Chinese men than women.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor