A Chinese company has caused a storm after introducing a new policy which demands employees seek approval before becoming pregnant.
Those who defy the demand will be hit with a fine, according to a report by Business Insider.
“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,” the policy read. “The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved. Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan (US$161).”
The credit cooperative company – which is based in Jiaozuo, in the province of Henan – had the policy exposed after news website The Paper published a screen shot of the document.
According to the website, a company representative had admitted that the notice was sent out to staff, but it was simply a draft seeking employees’ comments.
News portal The Paper published a screen shot of the document, adding a company representative had admitted the lender sent the notice to its staff but said it was only a draft seeking employees' comment.
Employees who breached the policy would not be considered for promotion or awards, and their incentives and year-end bonuses would be cancelled “if their pregnancy severely hindered their work”, the policy said.
Worryingly, the policy is not isolated – a worker at another bank in Henan told the Global Times that their employer asked staff for their pregnancy plans at the beginning of every year.