In 2018, there were 15.23 million live births in China, a drop of two million from the year prior, according to official data.
Two companies in China are giving single female employees over the age of 30 an extra eight days of annual “dating leave”.
With the birth rate in China dropping in recent years, the firms said they hoped the additional leave would give the women “more time and opportunities to be in contact with the opposite sex.”
Hangzhou Songcheng Performance and Hangzhou Songcheng Tourism Management have said unmarried women over 30 in “non-frontline” roles would be given an additional eight days of leave over the Chinese New Year to “go home and date”.
Employees at the firms – which are in Hangzhou, a city in eastern China – were said to have welcomed the move.
“Female employees mostly work in internal functional departments,” Huang Lei, a human resources manager at one of the firms, told a local publication.
“They have less contact with the outside world; thus we hope to give more leave to them to give them more time and opportunities to be in contact with the opposite sex.”
Single women in China in their late 20s and early 30s are deemed to be “leftover women”
Single women in China in their late 20s and early 30s are deemed to be “leftover women,” or shengnu, due to engrained traditional beliefs that women who are not married by then are undesirable.
More women in the world’s most populous country are choosing to focus on their careers and are marrying later or simply not marrying at all.
Data from the Ministry for Civil Affairs shows there were more than 200 million single adults in China in 2015 and the marriage rate has fallen every year since 2013.
A high school in eastern China rolled out a new policy to give single, stressed-out teachers an additional two days off every month to help boost staff morale.
In a recent survey, nearly 80% of female respondents born after 1995 chose to describe themselves as “economically independent, able and cool,” whereas the remainder ticked the traditional “loving wife and mother” option, according to findings released by LinkedIn China and L’Oreal China in March.
The “dating leave” announcement comes after a high school, also in Hangzhou, a city in eastern China, reportedly rolled out a new policy to give single, stressed-out teachers an additional two days off every month of “love leave” to relax and help boost staff morale.