Chinese Company to Women Employees: Give a Year's Notice Before Pregnancy
No surprises, please.
That’s what one Chinese employer is telling women employees about getting pregnant, saying that if they plan to have a little bundle of joy, they’ll need to give one year’s notice first. That way the pregnancies can be scheduled so the workload can be shared efficiently and short staffing can be avoided, the Changchun-based employers told state media and the BBC. The company’s HR director told Chinese media that the current rush to have babies has forced its hand.
The headline resulted in a backlash on social media in China, where the right to have children has stoked much criticism. Some say the Changchun company’s policy harms women by limiting their employment; others say they are overreacting to China’s recent baby boom.
China’s Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one-child” policy late last year, announcing that married couples are now allowed to have two children. The decision came amid fears that China’s aging population may not be able to keep pace with the future employment demands of its economy, overturning decades of a strict policy implemented by Deng Xiaoping. Deng’s contemporaries feared that the unchecked growth of the People’s Republic—now at 1.4 billion and counting—would lead to poverty and hunger.
Such limitations might seem intrusive or authoritarian in the West, but at least once the babies are born in China, moms get 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. The U.S. can’t say the same.