More time for love: Chinese provinces offer extended marriage leave

To encourage more young people to get married and start families, some Chinese provinces are offering extended marriage leave up to 30 days.
By: | February 23, 2023

Chinese provinces are offering young newlyweds 30 days of paid leave to encourage marriage and address the country’s declining birth rate, according to the Communist Party publication People’s Daily Health.

While China’s minimum paid marriage leave is three days, provinces can decide the duration of these allowances, and several have chosen to extend their leave policies. For instance, Gansu and Shanxi provinces offer 30 days, while Shanghai provides 10 days and Sichuan still only at three.

Yang Haiyang, Dean of the Social Development Research Institute of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, said that expanding marriage leave is an effective way to increase the fertility rate, but other supporting policies, including housing subsidies and paid paternity leave, are also necessary.

In Hunan, working mothers who have used up their maternity leave can apply to their employers for an extension of more days up until the child is one year old. However, the employer and employee will have to negotiate the salary awarded during the leave period. This policy is aimed at promoting the long-term balance development of the population ad encouraging more couples to have children.

READ: Hunan province in China extends maternity leave

In 2022, China’s population growth declined for the first time in six decades, recording 6.77 births per 1,000 couple. Much of this decline is due to the “one child” policy enforced from 1980 to 2015 and rising education costs that have deterred many Chinese from having more than one child, or even having any at all, reported Reuters