In China, most women will work until their retirement, even after they give birth. China labour law specifies some special provisions about the labour protection of female employees, as well as the interests and rights of a female employee.
1. Labour protection for female
Special labour protection has been specified for a woman–particularly in three phases
All companies shall comply with the provisions on the scope of incompatible labour work for female employees, which specifies the scope of incompatible labour work for female employees in general, as well as during the menstruation period and during pregnancy. Additionally, the company is obliged to notify the female employees of the positions in the company which fall under this scope, if any.
2. Special protection for female during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding (“three phases”)
1) No company shall reduce the salary of any female employee or terminate the labour contract during the three periods;
2) When a female employee is unable to perform her original job duties during pregnancy, the company shall reduce her workload or arrange another suitable position based on the certification of the medical institution.
For a female employee who is in the third semester of pregnancy, the company shall not extend her working hours or assign night shift duties, and shall allocate a fixed resting time during working hours.
The time taken for prenatal checkups of a pregnant woman during her working hours shall be included in their working hours.
3. Special treatment for females around childbirth and breastfeeding
1) The maternity allowance
during maternity leave of female employees who have bought maternity insurance shall be paid out from the maternity insurance fund based on the average monthly salary of the company’s staff for the preceding year; for those who are not covered by maternity insurance, the maternity allowance shall be paid by the company based on the female employee’s salary prior to her maternity leave.
Medical expenses for childbirth or miscarriage of female employees who have bought maternity insurance shall be paid out from the maternity insurance fund based on the items and rates stipulated by the maternity insurance; for female employees not covered by maternity insurance, the medical expenses shall be paid by the employer.
2) Female employees giving birth
shall be entitled to a maternity leave period of 98 days, of which 15 days may be taken before delivery; in the event of dystocia, the female employee shall be entitled to an additional 15 days of maternity leave; in the event of multiple births, the female employee shall be entitled to an additional 15 days of maternity leave for each additional baby.
Additionally, each province has extra maternity leave for female employees, ranging from 30 days to 60 days, depending on local regulations.
A female employee who suffers a miscarriage during the first four months of pregnancy shall be entitled to 15 days of maternity leave; a female employee who suffers a miscarriage after the fourth month of pregnancy shall be entitled to 42 days of maternity leave.
3) For female employees breastfeeding
their baby that is below one year old, the employer shall not extend their working hours or assign night shift duties.
The employer shall arrange one hour of breastfeeding time in each working day for female employees during their breastfeeding period; in the event of multiple child births, the female employee shall be entitled to one hour additional breastfeeding time for each baby.
4. Sexual Harassment
Employers shall prevent and curb sexual harassment towards female employees at work premises.
Source: Sophie Mao from chinalawhelp.com