Summary of New Dads Aren't Taking Paternity Leave

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Du Xiao and Cao Mingzhu, reporters at The Legal Daily, provide a broad overview of how the Chinese perceive paternity leave and what social environment shapes their opinions. The authors assume familiarity with societal norms such as the one-month confinement period for new mothers after giving birth, the decades-long One Child Policy which ended in 2015, the existence of live-in maternity care centers as well as the current practice of providing maternity leave but not necessarily paternity leave which can contribute to gender bias in the workplace. As of October 2016, 29 out of 32 provinces or municipalities formally stipulate paternal leave, ranging from 7 to 30 days depending on the province. Most of these provinces opt for 15 days of paternity leave. Although published by The Legal Daily, the article dedicates more space to covering the opinions of interviewees (all of whom are residents of Beijing) than to outlining the finer details of legislation related to this topic. getAbstract recommends the article to those interested in gender roles in China. 


About the Authors

Du Xiao is a reporter at The Legal Daily where Cao Mingzhu is an intern.  



In many regions of China, paternity leave is legally set at 15 days. But despite existing laws and although the government is prodding companies to implement these benefits, paternity leave in China overall remains a concept on paper as only a small proportion of new fathers take advantage of the legal vacation.      

In contrast, maternity leave is fairly well-established, and most employers follow the mandatory guidelines which provide new mothers with extended leave of absence to care for their newborns. When it comes to paternity, employers have been more hesitant. At some companies, fathers have never taken paternity leave although they would have been entitled by law. At such companies, the corporate culture favors dads who choose not to take paternity leave. ...

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