On 18 April 2012, the Special Regulations on Labour Protection of Female Employees (Draft) were reviewed and passed in principle by the Standing Committee of the PRC State Council.

The Special Regulations will do three things. They will:

  • extend the period of maternity leave from 90 days to 14 weeks (i.e. 98 days),
  • detail the benefits to which a female employee is entitled during maternity leave (including leave for miscarriage), and  
  • adjust the categories of work which a female employee cannot undertake, especially during her pregnancy and nursing period (i.e. one year after the date of her delivery).  

Employers who fail to comply with the requirements of the Special Regulations will be fined up to RMB 5,000 for each female employee whose legal rights are infringed. They may also be subject to compensation claims by the employee concerned.

The Special Regulations will become effective after they are signed by the Premier of State Council and officially promulgated. Such process is anticipated to be completed soon.