In light of the decrease of the working-age population and the increase of the number of people of over 60 years old, China's central government has decided to abolish its long-standing one-child policy. Since 1 January 2016, Chinese married couples are permitted to have up to two children. China's Population and Birth Planning Law has been amended to reflect such change; local implementing rules in this regard have already been issued or are in the pipeline. These changes may have a considerable impact on employers and employees in China, including change in statutory entitlements of marriage, maternity and paternity leave. Further details are set out here.

Employers will need to review and, if appropriate, amend their employee handbook and other internal policies with regard to marriage leave, maternity leave, paternity leave and related entitlements to ensure compliance with the new rules. They should monitor regulatory progress, especially the local implementing regulations, in relation to the abolition of the one-child policy, and prepare for a possible increase of child-birth leave.