(ECNS) -- With China loosening its family planning policy by allowing couples to have a second child, a spike in births could put great pressure on employers as well as medical resources, www.xwhb.com reports.
The long-awaited move immediately excited the public and demographers, who predicted that the two-child policy would have a long-term impact on society. But some employers perceive it as an obstacle as they worry hiring a woman planning to have a second child could put them at risk.
A man surnamed Zhang, a manager at a small private enterprise, said he felt frustrated when he made 2016 work plans for the company.
"We have six female employees in our department, and three of them are pregnant now," he said. "We might face a labor force shortage if they take maternity leave."
In response to such concerns, some companies have formulated a "birth time schedule" that stipulates employees should report to their employers one year prior to a planned second child.
The number of newborns is expected to increase from 1 million to 2 million annually after China dropped its one-child policy late last year.
Reservations for expectant moms at hospitals in Changchun, Jilin Province, are now fully booked. The occupancy rate for obstetric beds at top hospitals in Changchun has reached a record high, with extra temporary beds now needed.
Those who are having a second child account for one-fourth of pregnant women, according to media investigations.
If the two-child policy is fully implemented, the consumer dividend derived from new-born babies would surge and industries in food, toys, real estate, family automobiles, education -- and especially in maternal and child healthcare, and children's garments -- are likely to spur economic development, say planners.