Childcare and Elderly Care Work Leave Policies in China

Childcare and Nursing Leave in China

In this article, we cover two key family-related leaves and benefits for workers in China. This includes Nursing/Elderly Care Leave (for caretaking of elderly family members) and annual Childcare/Parental Leave (for parents with Children 3 years and under).

For those curious about maternity, paternity, or marriage leave for new parents, please check out our coverage of those here:

Let’s get on with these other key family benefits in China, shall we?!

Nursing or Elderly Care Leave in China

Time Off to Support Elderly Family Members

Family enjoys childcare leave in China
Time off for family is a welcome benefit!

Nursing Leave, also referred to as Caregiver’s Leave or Elderly Care Leave, applies to workers who wish to take time off to care for their elderly parents. This is a more recent benefit that has been rolling out in provinces and cities across China since 2021.

Some of the standard qualifiers are that the caretaker is an only child with elderly parents who need support. A smaller number of provinces also allow for leave for children with siblings (listed below).

Here’s the Beijing policy (from 

In the event that an employee who is the only child to his/her parents has to take care of his/her parents, every year, the employee shall be entitled to a caregiver’s leave of up to 10 business days, which may be taken on a continuous basis or in separate parts.

So in Beijing it’s nice and clear – 10 business days of leave per calendar year (either consecutive or not).

As of 2021, 13 provinces, along with Beijing and Tianjin, have passed policies for nursing leave. Generally, this leave applies if the parents have reached the age of 60 and are being treated in hospital.

Annual Nursing Leave Allotment

10 days: Beijing, Fujian, and Chongqing.

15 days: Hainan, Guangxi, Hubei, Shanxi, Sichuan, and Ningxia.

20 days: Tianjin, Henan, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, and Shaanxi.

6 provinces also allow children with sibling(s) nursing leave, though usually for a shorter amount of time. 

Annual Nursing Leave for families with more than one child

7 days: Sichuan and Ningxia.

10 days: Tianjin, Hubei, Heilongjiang, Yuannan, Shaanxi.

Employees taking nursing or caretaker leave receive full earnings.

Annual Childcare Leave in China

A Repeat Benefit for Working Parents!

Working Dad of a newborn in China
Close the Wechat down for a few days dad - childcare leave is offered all across China!

Parental or Childcare leave in China is a relatively recent benefit

In 2019, a government entity related to Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Development of Infant Care Services under 3 years old, encouraged all provinces of China to explore parental leave.

In 2021, parental leave was officially added to The Population and Family Planning Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Parental leave is provided in China, and ranges from 5 days (in places like Beijing and Shanghai) to 30 days (in Shaanxi province). A majority of provinces provide 10 days of parental leave. Here are some exceptions:

5 days: Beijing, Shanghai.

15 days: Shanxi, Gansu, Qinghai.

30 days: Shaanxi.

Only Promoted (no set government policy): Jilin, Jiangsu.

Beijing Mother on Maternity Leave
Mom and Babe relaxing in the Hutongs, enjoying their childcare leave perk

When is Parental or Childcare Leave Taken in China?

Parental leave is taken after maternity and paternity leave. It is generally provided annually for the first several years of the child’s life (following the child’s birthday as a calendar).

Here’s an example of the policy laid out in Beijing (from 

For every full year of a child’s life, either of his/her parents shall be entitled to a parental leave of five business days until he/she has reached three years of age.

In the event that an employee fails to take his/her annual parental leave, the parental leave will not be carried over to the next year.

For instance, if a child is born on June 1, 2021, either of his/her parents shall be entitled to a parental leave of 5 business days in each of the following periods: June 1, 2021-May 31, 2022, June 1, 2022-May 31, 2023, and June 1, 2023-May 31, 2024.


Is Parental or Childcare Leave Paid in China?

Yes. Parental leave mandated by provincial-level governments (listed above) is paid at 100% of salary.

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