Chinese Firm Demands Women Seek Permission Before Getting Pregnant, Will Punish Violators

International   |   Rebecca Downs   |   Jul 16, 2015   |   12:46PM   |   Beijing, China

The One-Child Policy in China has led to an immense gender imbalance in the country and has resulted in traumatic late-term forced abortions.

But, as if intimidation and acts of violence from the Chinese government weren’t enough, Chinese employers are cracking down on women as well.

The Telegraph recently reported that a Chinese finance firm in the Henan province is planning on demanding that workers seek permission to get pregnant, and will punish violators.

More about the plan:

Workers at a finance firm in Henan province were said to have been told they must apply for a “place on the birth-planning schedule” – and only if they had been employed for over a year.

“Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo.

“The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved,” it added. “Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan (£100),” it said.

Such a plan seems to be in place for the sake of worker productivity, and to avoid having women take maternity leave all at the same time. Incentives and end of year bonuses will be cancelled for violators “if their pregnancy severely hindered their work.”

The Telegraph also mentions that there were claims from the company that the notice “was only a draft seeking employees’ comment.”

With such a country as China, where there are such barbaric practices in place, however, it is quite unlikely that any employee would be brave enough to criticize the policy. Those who did, would likely not be taken seriously either.

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Even the state-run China Youth Daily media outlet disagreed with the company’s plan, and had quite the statement:

The circular triggered scathing criticism from Chinese media, with the state-run China Youth Daily lambasting it as bizarre.

The company “does not regard its employees as living human beings, instead it treats them as working tools on the production line”, it said in a commentary.

Despite the obvious, that the Chinese government and now Chinese companies certainly do “not regard its employees as living human beings…” such companies also seem to lack an understanding of how conceiving children works. Even with all the careful planning in the world, even if intimidation and threats are employed, babies are not always conceived when planned.

The company is worried about “pregnancy severely hindering… work?” It’s clear that the company doesn’t seem to be too concerned with human rights, so perhaps it can look at it from a productivity level. In that case, then perhaps it shouldn’t impose harsh requirements about getting pregnant, and punish those women who violate the plan, loading on unnecessary stress, which could certainly impact worker productivity, simply because their bodies may not work in the way their employer demands.