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China: Around The Nation

Chinese woman fined by employers for having second child without their permission

They refunded the money on Friday, before reports appeared in print over the weekend

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 April, 2017, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 April, 2017, 6:18pm

A woman in eastern China has been fined after she gave birth to a second child without permission from her company, mainland media report.

The woman, referred to as Zhou Quan (not her real name) in the report, had signed an agreement with her employer in Jinan, Shandong province that only two woman staff at the company could be pregnant each year, one in April and another in October, after China loosened its decades old one-child policy to allow couples to have a second child, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

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Based on the schedule drafted by her company, Zhou could only become pregnant in 2020, the report said.

But soon after the company rolled out the regulation, Zhou found out she was pregnant. Considering her age of 31, she chose to have baby last year.

Zhou took maternity leave but was later told by an officer at the company that she would be fined more than 2,000 yuan (US$290) as she was not giving birth according to the schedule.

When local media approached the company for comment, the officer said the company did no want to prohibit staff from having a second child, just plan the births according to an agreed schedule.

Zhou’s company employs 25 staff, 17 of whom are woman of child-bearing age, the officer told the Daily, adding that “the company could not function if they all had babies at the same time”.

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However, the report said the company refunded Zhou’s fine on Friday.

The company was suspected of violating laws on women’s rights and employment, Beijing lawyer Han Xiao was quoted as saying in the report.

Employers cannot regulate when women staff gave birth and that imposing fines violated women’s reproductive rights, Han said.

The one-child policy had long been criticised since it was introduced in the 1970s.