Basics on Parental Leave in AsiaMany Asian countries offer generous parental leave policies. Here are a few examples.
ChinaChina mandates 98 days of maternity leave and allows provinces flexibility to add their own rules. 15 days can be used as prenatal leave. Mothers who are aged 24 or older at the time of birth are considered “late childbirth” and are eligible for additional maternity leave, the amount of which is determined based on the province where the mother lives. Additional leave may be available in other circumstances if there is a difficult birth, such as a cesarean section. The social security bureau pays for the leave with contributions that are paid into the system every month as part of an employee’s social insurance deductions. The amount of pay is determined by comparing the employee’s average wages over the 12-month period prior to birth to the average salary offered by the employer. The social security bureau pays the higher of these two figures, subject to a maximum. 30 provinces offer another one to three months of maternity leave after the first 98 days are exhausted, but exact amounts depend, again, on the province. Fathers may receive between one week to a month of paternity leave, depending on the region.
JapanJapan provides guaranteed maternity leave for six weeks prior to the due date and eight weeks after giving birth. Mothers receive their full salary during their leave. Income tax, resident tax, and employment insurance premiums are still paid during this time while mothers are exempt from health and pension insurance payments. Additionally, mothers and fathers may be able to take advantage of childcare leave during which time they are eligible for 67% of their gross monthly salary including allowances and subject to a cap for the first 180 days after the end of maternity leave and 50% of their salary until the child turns one year old. Leave can sometimes be extended until the child turns one and a half.
South KoreaMothers are entitled to three months of maternity leave. At least 45 consecutive days of this leave must be taken after the birth. The amount of pay depends on the size of the company. Additionally, the size of the company determines whether the company or employment insurance pays for this leave. South Korea also provides parental leave for parents who have worked for an employer for more than a year to care for a child under six years old. Each parent can use one year of leave and they cannot take leave at the same time. During this leave, the parent receives 40% of his or her monthly income from employment insurance.
IndiaIndia requires employers to offer 26 weeks of paid maternity leave for a mother’s first two births. Starting with the third child, the mother receives 12 weeks of paid parental leave for each child. Up to eight weeks of this leave can be used prior to the birth. However, there are certain criteria that mothers must meet to take advantage of this generous policy, including:
- They must work for an employer who has 10 or more employees
- They must have worked at least 80 days during the 12-month period immediately before the birth