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Beijing allows remarried couples to have more children, announces 128-day maternity leave

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 6:02 IST
  • This year marked the end of China\'s three-decade-old one-child policy. Couples were allowed to have a second child to avert a demographic crisis following sharp increase in people above 60 years.
  • According to a new regulation, remarried couples can now have more children. The regulation also allows for 128-days maternity leaves for mothers and 15-days for fathers

In a bid to increase Beijing's population, the Chinese capital city has passed a new family planning rule allowing remarried couples to have more children besides granting 128 maternity leaves for mothers and 15-day holiday for fathers.

According to a new regulation passed by the local legislature, remarried couples who have children from the earlier marriage can have children together after their remarriage. Previously, the one-child policy Beijing only allowed remarried couples with one child from both previous and current marriages to give birth to another child.

This year marked the end of China's three-decade-old one-child policy.

The Global Times quoted demographics expert and former assistant professor at Harvard University Huang Wenzheng as saying that the policy would benefit a lot of people. He said:

"The policy should be supported, as it will benefit a lot of remarried couples in Beijing to have another child. However, it will not be promoted across the country, as different cities have different situations."

Unlike Beijing, the local government in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province stipulated four scenarios in which remarried couples will be allowed to have another child, including when the partner that is an only child has no offspring and his or her spouse already has two children.

Han Zhiyun, a 31-year-old woman who married a Beijing man who had previously fathered twins, said the policy was discriminatory. Han gave birth to a daughter in 2013, and under the previous family planning regulation, she could not get a Beijing household registration for her baby. She asked:

"I still feel that the policy discriminates against people like me, who married for the first time with someone who was married previously. Why can I not have two children with my husband like other couples?"

The new regulation also provides a 15-day paternity leave for husbands during their wives' pregnancy and extends female workers' maternity leave to 7 months.

Current national regulations allow women only 98 days of maternity leave. Some additional rules like stipulating that women are only allowed to give birth to a second child if they are aged 28 or older or if it has been at least four years since the birth of their first child have been scrapped.

The new rule also that couples in the capital will enjoy longer maternity and paternity leave.

According to the city's new population and family planning regulation, mothers in Beijing are entitled to at least 128 days of maternity leave after having their first or second child, 30 days longer than the previous allowance.

Maternity leave may be extended to a maximum up to seven months, if the organisation they work for allows it.

-- PTI

First published: 25 March 2016, 3:51 IST