Employers interfere with choice of pregnancy

Updated: 2016-01-07 07:44

By Zhao Ruixue(China Daily)

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Liu Qian, a 31-year-old bank teller, is eligible to have a second child, but she has to wait because of the unwritten rules of her employer.

"We planned to have a second child after becoming eligible, but when I submitted an application, I was disappointed by the rules of our bank," Liu was quoted as saying by Qilu Evening News.

All Chinese couples have been allowed to have two children since Jan 1 after the national legislature amended the family planning policy.

Liu has worked as a bank teller in Jining, Shandong province, for seven years.

She said that among the five tellers at the bank branch, four are female, and she is the second oldest.

"Being allowed to have a child becomes a welfare benefit we scramble for," said Liu. "According to the unwritten rules of our bank, those who want to have a second child must give way to those having a first child."

"I am allowed to have a second child in 2018, according to our bank's rules," said Liu. "If I can't get pregnant within half a year, then I have to wait for the next round."

Liu is not alone.

A woman surnamed Zheng in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province, said she was told to submit an application one year before she wants to have a child, and then the company will make a timetable for those employees who want to have child in case several employees get pregnant within one year.

"Making a timetable for employees who want to have a child is understandable," said Yu Wei, who manages a laundry shop in Jinan, capital of Shandong.

"Half of my employees are female and 20 percent of them want to have a second child," said Yu, adding that if several employees get pregnant within one year, it will be fatal to his business.

"Each month, I allow no more than two female employees to have a child," said Yu.

Chen Ruifu, a lawyer at Qilu Law Firm, said employers should talk to employees to see if they can reach an agreement over the timing of having a child.

"It's illegal to meddle in women's reproductive rights. Employers who fine employees for disobeying company rules about having a child violate the national law," Chen said.

The Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women prohibits employers from imposing restrictions on female employees' marriage and reproduction.