The People's Congress of Jiangsu Province passed the Regulation on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women on March 28. The advocacy law, which has drawn much attention in China since it was released for public opinion, will come into effect on June 1, 2018.
According to the lawmakers in the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress, joint childcare leave is not compulsory, therefore employers can make decisions about whether to grant the leave or not, or how many days they want to grant.
This new benefit for new fathers has sparked an interest among reporters, who raised questions at the press conference of the Standing Committee of Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress, such as the reasons for promoting joint childcare leave, the application guidelines, etc.
This five-day joint childcare leave is in addition to the 15 days paternity leave granted to men according to the local law, said the spokesman from the Legislative Affairs Commission.
Joint childcare leave is designed to encourage new fathers to take on more family responsibility and share housework with their wives. It will not only benefit the growth of children and harmony in families, but will also play an important role in promoting gender equality in society.
The regulation of this leave has been revised several times. In June 2017 when the draft was first put out for public comments, it was suggested that men should enjoy "at least 15 days of joint childcare leave". At the end of 2017, the revised version of the regulation was submitted to the 33rd meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress for the first review, and the leave was reduced to "no less than five days". In the second review on March 27, 2018, the wording was adjusted to "a certain length of time," and on March 28, the wording was finalized as minimum five-day joint childcare leave for men when their spouse is on maternity leave.
As some enterprises commented that compulsory vacations would increase the burden on them, the local legislation deleted specific days for the leave in the first review; in the second review, however, many legislators advised that, "setting up vacation time can show the guiding spirit of the law and promise a relatively long time for the leave."
Though the regulation promotes a minimum five-day childcare leave for new fathers, the implementation will be contingent on the conditions of the employers.
(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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