Business / Companies

Companies move to support bigger families

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-04 09:41

Some companies in China are preparing to roll out additional welfare for employees who give birth to a second child, following the central government's announcement last week of a policy revision universally allowing two children.

The benefits include flexible working hours, extra holidays, medical insurance for the two children and interest-free loans from the company to alleviate the parents' economic burden.

Online travel agency International has introduced a maximum of 400,000 yuan ($63,000) of interest-free loans to staff who have worked for the company two years or more.

"The employees will have up to 10 years to repay the money, which is an effort by the company to support its employees who may get into financial trouble in the first years after their second child is born," said Ctrip spokesman Shi Kaifeng.

A woman who works at the Shanghai office of a multinational company in the chemical industry said the company has announced the purchase of commercial health insurance for all children born legally to employees.

"That means at least 50 percent of the children's medical bills will be reimbursed. And the percentage will grow based on an employee's years of service and job title," said the woman, surnamed Wu.

Zhilian Recruiting, a major China-based recruitment website, looked into 100 large and medium-size corporations that offer child-rearing welfare and found that roughly 94 percent of the enterprises will apply the benefits if an employee has a second child.

Some women in the workplace said the benefits their employers and society can provide, such as a longer maternity leave and more subsidies, will be crucial to their decision to have a second child.

"Women who give birth to a second child only have a 98-day maternity leave, which is even shorter than the 128-day maternity leave that they have when having the first child at age 24 or above," said Jin Yan, a white-collar worker in Shanghai who gave birth to her second child, a son, in June. Her first child, also a boy, is 2 years old. "Needless to say, it's more energy-consuming to take care of a second child because our parents are older and can babysit less."

Yong An Insurance, an insurance company in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, issued a new policy on Oct 30 for women who have had one child and are preparing to have another. It had sold 113 policies within two days.

According to Zhang Dongwu, company chairman, the insurance is mainly for healthy women, and has an upper age limit of 45. "The new insurance can, of course, expand the scope of our business," he said.

Ma Lie contributed to this story.

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