Ten provinces across China currently grant workers with no other siblings the right to "paid nursing leave" during emergencies to enable them to take proper care of their parents, according to the latest report.
The report also states that, as of the end of last year, the population of over-60s in China has hit 240 million.
Since many adults in China are from one-child families, such individuals are finding it difficult to take care of their senior relatives.
In order to solve the growing problem, many governments have issued relevant regulations. Among the 10 provinces, Hubei, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Ningxia apply the rules to adults with siblings, too.
For example, the regulations in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which aims to protect the rights and interests of the elderly, stipulates that employers should give only-child employees up to 15 days of nursing leave if either of their parents (aged 60 or over) is hospitalized.
Meanwhile, the leave for non-only child employees is a maximum of seven days. Employers have been instructed not to deduct the salaries of employees in such circumstances.
In addition, although some regional governments avoid specifying the number of days, they encourage local employers to give staff proper leave.
At the same time, long-term elderly care insurance has been introduced in some cities to ease families' financial burden.
The insurance aims to offer proper subsidies to elderly people who cannot take care of themselves and ensure that they can enjoy fundamental medical care.
According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, family members should pay close attention to the spiritual needs of the elderly.
Those who live separately from their parents are encouraged to go home often and spend more time with their parents.
For example, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region stipulated that if elderly parents are living in nursing institutions, their children should visit them on regular basis. Otherwise institution staff should urge the children or inform relevant departments to encourage them to do so.
In the regulations issued by south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, those who live apart from their elderly parents should take time over to visit or communicate with them regularly by phone, via the internet or by writing letters.
(Source: workercn.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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