Fairer Parenting Draft Law Proposed in Jiangsu

By Mei Manuel, December 03, 2017 03:12 AM


On Wednesday, Jiangsu's local government releases the draft law for "joint parenting leave" to help fathers assist their wives in taking care of their children and promote equal job opportunities.

Normally, fathers are given seven to 30 days of paid paternity leave depending on their location as each province has their very own "birth companion leave" policy. In the case of Jiangsu, it allows paid paternal leave for 15 days but they have released a consultation paper in June to ask if the public would support 15 more days of additional joint parenting leave.

However, in contrast to the proposal in June, the draft law now shows a proposal that would call for a mandatory minimum of at least 5 days rather than 15. The provision was reduced according to one official due to the possible costs it would incur to employers. Should it be passed, Jiangsu would be the first in the country to introduce such measures; but, it may lead other provinces to copy the same proposal.

The two-child policy has been introduced to the country in January 2016 and many groups have been pushing for Chinese men to assist their wives to raise their children and take part in parenting them. However, many women have cited that raising two children is quite difficult due to the inadequacy of child care services and the inbalanced child-rearing labor between husbands and wives. Some women are also scared for the possibility their maternal leaves can cost them their careers.

Jiangsu's proposal has earned support from netizens, but some did wonder if it would be implemented effectively and if companies will be willing to cooperate with the government and its employees.

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