China may have put an end to its one-child policy last year, but there are indications that some Chinese women are still being prevented from having babies when they want to.
A Beijing maternity hospital was recently exposed for allegedly imposing regulations that prevent its female staff from bearing children. The institution is reportedly just one among several other Chinese companies that impose fertility schedules to its employees.
The rising pregnancy regulation is seen to have come from the number of couples rushing to have a second child following the lifting of the one-child policy.
According to the Beijing News (via USA Today), the Tongzhou Maternity and Child Health Institute prohibits female doctors and nurses from getting pregnant without seeking permission first. If permitted, they will be given a three-month window to conceive where if they fail to do so, they will be required to pay a fine.
Due to public outrage, the hospital was forced to announce the cancellation of the policy as of Friday. All previously collected fines would also be returned to the employees.
Setting pregnancy schedules in China was already in place in many industries that employ mostly women. In fact, the Beijing hospital’s reproductive schedule has been around for several years.
In Dongguan city, another hospital reportedly warned its employees in May that salaries will be withheld and promotions will be halted if any of them had a baby out of schedule.
In the province of Henan, teachers were given a quota for the number of women who are allowed to be pregnant per period.
In the same province, a bank also controlled the date when its female tellers are allowed to get pregnant.
“An employee birth plan has been established and will be strictly enforced,” the bank announced last year via in a notice that went viral online. “Employees who do not give birth according to the plan and whose work is impacted will face a one-time fine of 1,000 yuan ($150) and will not be considered for promotion,” it said.