New maternity and paternity leave policy in Shanghai


The 37th meeting of the 15th Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress’s Standing Committee agreed on the Decision to change Shanghai’s maternity and paternity leave policy, which will take effect on the date of publication.

The city has had a “three-child” policy in place which:

  • Allows for the birth of three children by a couple.
  • Simplifies the situations in which a remarried couple’s previous children are no longer considered together.
  • Increases the length of maternity leave from thirty to sixty days.
  • Paternity leave is amended.

Employers have been urged, according to the modified policy, to establish flexible leave and work measures that allow their employees to care for their infants and young children.

Below is a compiled list of FAQs regarding the new maternity and paternity leave rules in Shanghai.

How long is maternity leave? How to take advantage of this?

According to the amended policy, new mothers can now enjoy, in addition to the maternity leave provided by the state (98 days), an extra sixty days of extended maternity leave.

The extended maternity leave shall be treated as legally equal to maternity leave and can be extended upon statutory holidays.

Therefore, female workers are now entitled to a total of 158 days of maternity leave for childbirth, with appropriate extensions for difficult births and others.

How can couples enjoy extended maternity leave if they have given birth to children on or after May 31, 2021 and before the implementation of the new revised Regulations?

  • If the mother has already taken thirty days of extended maternity leave under the original Regulations, she is eligible for an additional thirty days of maternity leave.
  • If the female employee got maternity insurance benefits during the first thirty days of her extended maternity leave, she is eligible for another thirty days of coverage during her maternity leave.

Individuals do not need to reapply because the medical insurance agency will automatically make the payment using the original bank account.

How many days of paternity leave? How do I apply for it?

Couples who give birth before their children reach the age of three can take five days of paternity leave each year if they follow the guidelines.

Wages should be paid in accordance with normal attendance during parental leave.” The number of days of parental leave is usually calculated based on the number of children born.

The annual parental leave can be taken in any order or stretched out over the year.

The Regulations provide that “each party shall be entitled to five days of parental leave per year until the child reaches the age of three years”, does “per year” mean a natural year? Or is it an anniversary?

It literally means “anniversary.” For example, if the child is born on December 1, 2021, the anniversary is November 30, 2022, and each parent is entitled to five days of parental leave during that time. And so forth.

On the date of the implementation of the newly revised Regulations (November 25, 2021), if the child is under the age of three, will the parents also be entitled to five days each of parental leave?

Parental leave is available and is computed according to the child’s real age. For example, both parents are entitled to five days of parental leave for each of the two anniversary periods if the child is one year old and less than two years old. And so forth.