On April 28, 2012, the State Council issued the Special Provisions for Labor Protection of Female Employees, which took effect immediately and superseded the Provisions for Labor Protection of Female Employees issued in 1988. The new provisions have enlarged the scope of prohibited labor activities for female employees during pregnancy, periods and lactation, and have increased the maternity leave from 90 days to 98 days. Childbirth allowance and medical treatment for childbirth and miscarriages are covered by the maternity insurance fund or by the employer if the employer has not provided maternity insurance. Employers who violate relevant provisions will be ordered to make rectifications and subject to a fine ranging from RMB 1000 for each infringed female employee to RMB 300,000 for certain serious violations. For severe violations, the employer may also be forced to cease relevant operations or even to shut down.
The full Chinese text of the provisions is available here.