Bei­jing calls for fam­ily leave to show fil­ial piety

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

Em­ploy­ers in Bei­jing are be­ing en­cour­aged to give staff more time off to visit their elderly rel­a­tives as the govern­ment aims to build a se­nior-friendly city.

Ac­cord­ing to a plan passed by Bei­jing pol­i­cy­mak­ers re­cently on im­prov­ing seniors’ lives in the 13th Five-Year Plan pe­riod (2016-2020), va­ca­tion time would be given to visit elderly fam­ily mem­bers on their birthdays or on Chongyang Fes­ti­val, a fes­ti­val for se­nior cit­i­zens, or when se­nior rel­a­tives are in need of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive ser­vice or ter­mi­nal care.

The plan did not spec­ify how to cal­cu­late salary dur­ing the leave.

Ac­cord­ing to a reg­u­la­tion is­sued by the State Coun­cil in 1981, em­ploy­ees of govern­ment de­part­ments or pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions are en­ti­tled to a 24-day fam­ily leave ev­ery four years if they do not live in the same place with their spouse or par­ents. An em­ployee who takes the fam­ily leave can still re­ceive their ba­sic wage, but their per­for­mance pay will be af­fected.

Half the se­nior pop­u­la­tion in China, more than 100 mil­lion peo­ple, are empty nesters aged 60 or older whose chil­dren have left home, govern­ment fig­ures show.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

Peo­ple’s Park in down­town Shang­hai has be­come the set­ting for a match­mak­ing mar­ket as par­ents place um­brel­las, each car­ry­ing sheets of pa­per con­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion about their un­mar­ried chil­dren. On a re­cent Satur­day af­ter­noon, more than 500 mid­dle-aged peo­ple and seniors packed into a cor­ner of the park in an at­tempt to find part­ners for their un­at­tached 30-some­thing chil­dren.

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