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New law extends maternity, paternity and marriage leaves to encourage more local couples to have 2nd child

SHANGHAI lawmakers today approved the amended family planning law to encourage more local couples to have a second child, after the national legislation took effect on January 1.

The city's newly revised Law on Population and Family Planning, which takes effect on March 1, extends the paid paternity leave from 3 to 10 days, as one of the incentives to support the new policy.

“We encourage the husbands to take more care of their wives," said Wu Jinglei, from Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission.

The amended law offers a 30-day additional maternity leave besides the 98-day leave stipulated by the national legislature, meaning all local mothers can enjoy a 128-day maternity leave.

The 30-day additional leave used to be an incentive only for women who gave birth after 24 years old, also known as the “later-maternity” leave. But the National Congress has aborted the policy to encourage families to give birth early and have the second child.

Similarly, under the amended law, all local couples will get an additional 7-day marriage leave over the 3-day marriage leave stipulated by the national legislature.

Previously, only men who got married after 25, or women after 23, could enjoy the total 10-day leave. But the late-marriage leave policy was also aborted by the national legislature.

Under the amended law, remarried couples allowed to have one more child under the following three circumstances:

1. The couple (either the man or the woman) had a child before the remarriage. After tying the knot again, they were allowed to have one child. Now, after the amendment to the law, they can now have a second child if they desire;

2. The couple had more than one child before remarriage, and no children after that. They can now legally have another child;

3. The couple had no children before the remarriage, have two children after the remarriage, but one of them is diagnosed with non-genetic disability.

The national legislature amended the family planning law in late December to end the nation's decades-old one-child policy, in an attempt to balance population development and offset the burden of an aging demographic.

The national family planning commission estimated that about 90 million families will qualify for the new second-child policy, which would help raise the population to an estimated 1.45 billion by 2030. China had 1.37 billion people at the end of 2014.

The one-child policy was introduced in 1979 in an effort to rein in the surging population.


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