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Shanghai extends parental and marriage leave to encourage second children

Shanghai has changed its family planning law to encourage couples to have a second child, Shanghai Daily has reported.26 Feb 2016

Maternity leave has been extended by 30 days on top of the national maternity leave allowance of 98 days, so that all Shanghai mothers can take 128 days in total, Shanghai Daily reported.

Previously only mothers over the age of 24 were given the extra 30 days, known as "later-maternity" leave, the newspaper said.

Paternity leave has been extended from three to 10 days, to "encourage the husbands to take more care of their wives", Wu Jinglei of the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission told Shanghai Daily.

All couples will now be given 10 days marriage leave. Previously couple were only given three days leave, unless they were over 25, for men, and 23 for women, the report said.  

New rules were also introduced on children for couples in second marriages. A remarried couple can now have two children if one spouse had a child from a previous marriage, the newspaper said.

If the couple has more than one child from previous marriages, then they can only have one more child. Couples with no children from previous marriages, and two children from their current marriage, can now have another if one of their children has been diagnosed with a non-genetic disability, Shanghai Daily said.

China changed its family planning law in December to end the nation's one-child policy, introduced in 1979, in an attempt to balance population development.

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, Shanghai Daily said.

Hong Kong-based Jolene Riemerson of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said "The new rules will be effective in China from the beginning of March 2016. It will be interesting to see whether Hong Kong, which has its own separate set of employment laws, might consider increasing its own maternity and paternity leave laws. The parental and marriage leave rules in mainland China can be considered generous in comparison to Hong Kong's."

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