On February 23, 2016, the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress adopted the Decision to Amend the Regulations on the Population and Family Planning in the Shanghai Municipality (the “Decision”), which came into effect on March 1, 2016. This Decision has attracted extensive attention for its amendments to policies on two children for a couple and maternity leaves, which carry a substantial impact on the rights of the people.
About the revised two-child policy
To thoroughly implement the two-child policy under the Population and Family Planning Law of the People’s Republic of China promulgated at the end of last year, the Decision made more refined rules regarding the two-child policy. It is noteworthy that the policy allows for raising two children, not two pregnancies, thus a couple who have given birth to twins may not give birth to additional children.
Under the comprehensive two-child policy, the Decision contains provisions concerning the birth and raising of additional children in a remarriage. For a remarriage, additional children may be raised under the following three conditions. Firstly, if one spouse has never given birth prior to the remarriage and the other has already raised a child, and the couple after remarriage has raised one more child, they may give birth to and raise another child. Secondly, if the couple have raised a combined total of two or more children prior to the remarriage but did not have any children together, they may give birth and raise children. Finally, if neither has given birth to and raised any child before the remarriage and the couple have raised two children after remarriage with one found to have contracted a non-hereditary disease that would cause that child to be unable to work as an adult, they may give birth to and raise another child.
In other words, if both spouses have given birth to and raised two children after their marriage, or if the couple have raised a combined total of two or more children prior to the remarriage but also have given birth to and raised one child in this marriage, they are not allowed to given birth to additional children under the comprehensive two-child policy.
About amendments to marriage or maternity leave
The provisions about late marriage leave were removed by the Population and Family Planning Law of the People’s Republic of China promulgated at the end of last year, and only a regular 3-day marriage is retained. This Decision adds 7 days to the marriage leave for citizens who are married in Shanghai Municipality pursuant to law on top of the 3-day statutory marriage leave.
With respect to the state requirements for maternity leave, female workers giving birth to a child are eligible for 98 days of maternity leave (see Article 7 of the Special Provisions on Labor Protection of Female Workers). This Decision stipulates that female workers are eligible for 30 additional days of maternity leave on top of such statutory basis, while male workers are also eligible for 10 days of paternity leave.