A new regulation, made public Monday, provides employed Chinese women with better welfare policies, including extended maternity leave and higher workplace protection.
According to the regulation adopted by the State Council in April, maternity leave has been extended from 90 days to 98 days, which is in line with the 14-week minimum standard set by the International Labour Organization.
The regulation more clearly specifies leave granted to women who have miscarriages. According to it, a female employee will get 15 days of leave if their miscarriage occurs within the first four months of pregnancy and 42 days of leave if it happens later.
Under the regulation, female employees should be paid either by the maternity insurance programs they have joined or by employers during their maternity leave.
The regulation also expands the categories of jobs that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are banned from working for, while removing restrictions on what jobs married women at the childbearing age should take.
It also imposes clear penalties on the offenders, ranging from 1,000 to 300,000 yuan (US$159 to 47,619). And it stipulates that those employers who seriously violate the rules should be suspended from operation.
According to the government, China is estimated to currently have 102 million women in full-time employment.
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