Looking for a man? Take ‘dating leave’

Some Chinese companies are granting their single, thirty-something female employees additional “dating” leave during the Lunar New Year.
Some Chinese companies are granting their single, thirty-something female employees additional “dating” leave during the Lunar New Year.
Image: 123RF/xixinxing

Single, stressed at work and tired of your mother asking when you will find a man and get married?

Maybe you should move to China.

Two Chinese companies recently announced they were granting their single, 30-something women employees additional “dating” leave during the Lunar New Year, a celebration which started on February 5 and will end on Tuesday.

Online news site China Society reported on the notice issued by Hangzhou Songcheng Performance and Hangzhou Songcheng Tourism Management, the companies that operate popular theme park Song Dynasty Town in the city in the east of China.

On top of the traditional seven days of leave, employees will get an additional eight.

Hangzhou Songcheng performance human resources manager Huang Lei was quoted as saying: “Some female staff have less contact with the outside world.

“Therefore, we hope to give more leave to female staff to give them more time and opportunities to be in contact with the opposite sex.”

A Chinese primary school has also said it would give single, and married but childless, teachers two half-days of “love leave” every month.

While this might seem strange, in China single women over 30 are seen as “leftover women” who have lost their appeal and are no longer considered marriage material.

It seems the government is also concerned about the country’s low birth rate.

After nearly 40 years of the notorious one-child policy, it relaxed the restriction in 2016, allowing for two children.

Despite this attempt to address the problem of an ageing and shrinking workforce, it seems younger couples are still opting to have only one child, or no children, due to the high cost of housing and education, and discrimination against women who have two children by companies that do not want to pay maternity leave.

This had led to speculation that the government might scrap limits on the number of children couples could have completely, The Guardian reported in 2018.

Apparently the decision by the two Chinese companies to grant their single women employees additional leave was welcomed, but the critical question remains: if the single, men employees are not also being granted leave, who will the single women be meeting?

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