28 August 2013
How many days' leave is an employee entitled to on marriage?
An employee who gets married after reaching the statutory marriage age (i.e., 20 years old for females and 22 years old for males) is entitled to three days of marriage leave (the "basic marriage leave"). An employee is also entitled to "late marriage leave" in addition to the basic marriage leave in the following circumstances:
- when a female employee first gets married at 23 years old or older, or
- when a male employee first gets married at 25 years old or older.
In such circumstances, the relevant employee is generally entitled to between 7 and 12 additional days of leave (depending on local rules). For example, in Shanghai and Beijing, an employee gets 7 days' late marriage leave, while in Guangdong the employee gets 10 days.
Please note that an employee who gets married for the second (or more) time is still entitled to the basic marriage leave, i.e., 3 days for each time, but is not entitled to "late marriage leave".
Are employees entitled to pay during basic marriage leave and late marriage leave?
Yes, employees are entitled to be paid their normal salary during such leave.
What happens when an employee who was married just before joining our company applies for marriage leave to arrange for his wedding banquet?
While the law is not clear on this question, it is generally accepted that if the marriage date (i.e., the date on which the marriage certificate was issued by the marriage registrar) is prior to the date on which the employee commenced employment, then the employer is not obliged to approve the marriage leave application. However, the employer should check local practice on this point.
A good practice is to include the details of such kind of provisions in the relevant internal rules and policies.
Must the employee apply to take his or her marriage leave within a certain time of the marriage?
The PRC law is silent on when the employee must take his or her marriage leave. Again, an employer may wish to address this issue in an internal policy. For example, the employer may provide that the basic marriage leave and late marriage leave must be taken within one year of the registration date of the marriage, otherwise the employee will be considered to have waived his or her entitlement to such leave.