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China

China: Released Guiding Opinions on Supportive Measures for Active Childbearing.

Seventeen departments including the National Health Commission and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly issued the Guiding Opinions on Further Improving and Implementing Supportive Measures for Active Childbearing (the “Guiding Opinions”). The Guiding Opinions set forth the supportive measures which include raising the service level for childbearing, developing nursery system for the public, improving birth leave and income security system, strengthening support in respects of housing and taxation, providing more excellent educational resources, and establishing working environment friendly to childbearing. Specifically, the Guiding Opinions encourage employers and employees to negotiate and adopt flexible working patterns or working from home, which can provide convenience to those employees who need to send /pick up children or to take care of sick children at home. In addition, the Guiding Opinions also stress about the strict enforcement of labor protection for female employees regarding their working hours, salary standards, workloads etc. during pregnancy, maternity leave and breastfeeding period.

Key Action Points

China revised its Population and Family Planning Law in 2021 to allow couples to have up to three children.  Facing with the issue of aging population, more and more supportive measures for childbearing are expected to be rolled out. Employers are advised to strictly fulfill their statutory obligations regarding female employees especially during their pregnancy, maternity leave and breastfeeding period.