Pregnancy penalty for “careless” employees

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A credit company in China has come under fire after an internal memo asking employees to stick to a strict “pregnancy planning schedule” went viral.

“An employee birth plan has been established and will be strictly enforced,” read the message. “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," it continued.

Those who violate the policy by falling pregnant without permission or outside of their allotted timeframe will not only face a fine of 1,000 Yuan – approximately CA$200 – but could also see their bonuses cancelled and promotion opportunities overlooked.

Workers at the Henan-province firm are understandably unhappy with one woman pointing out that it’s not always possible to provide a guaranteed pregnancy timeline.

While communist China has long enforced strict family planning policies, the circular triggered scathing criticism from national media.

State-run China Youth Daily slammed the company’s HR approach and said it “does not regard its employees as living human beings, instead it treats them as working tools on the production line.”

Representatives for the company admitted they had sent the controversial policy out to employees but insisted it was just a draft, devised because the firm had recently taken on a number of female college graduates and was keen to avoid simultaneous pregnancies.

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  • Corinna Killeen on 2015-07-10 12:27:40 PM

    A lot of models in North America sign contracts stating that they will not become pregnant for the duration of their contracts. I feel this really isn't much different. Although sad in both cases.

  • Laura on 2015-07-17 10:53:12 AM

    Why, in all of the articles about pregnancy recently, do all of the authors say "falling pregnant"? It's not an illness! There must be a better way to phrase it...becoming pregnant, perhaps?

  • Laura on 2015-07-22 9:28:58 AM

    @ Laura.
    lol Good point. Coming down with a pregnancy, falling pregnant, being diagnosed with pregnancy.
    China does far worse than this, (to their people and to animals) but it's still ridiculous that they are trying to control employees from 'contracting a pregnancy.' When the women are allowed to, they have to "develop a birth plan". As if pregnancy and giving birth are things the woman can control!!! It just seems so archaic! Maybe they should then men getting the women pregnant on a "birth control plan".

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