Single female staff working at an amusement park in the Chinese city of Hangzhou now get eight extra days off to find a life partner. The so-called dating leave is only intended for employees who are 30 years of age or older.
It concerns employees of the Hangzhou Songcheng theme park that is dedicated to the cultural highlights of the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279 AD). In the amusement park the number of male and female employees is the same, but according to the management, the majority of 30-plus women work in staff positions behind the scenes. “As a result, they hardly ever come into contact with male visitors who could be potential relationship partners”, according to a board member in the South China Morning Post.
The recently entered dating days are not available all year round, but only in the period in which the Chinese New Year is celebrated. That falls this year on 5 February. Around that holiday, many Chinese people take a week off to visit family in their native region, but the single amusement park workers get an additional eight in their salary so they can invest more time in finding a man.
In Chinese culture, single women around the age of 30 are sometimes seen as ‘failed’ because they still do not have a partner. The South China Morning Post told an expert about this trend. “Many Chinese people still mistakenly think that something is wrong with women who do not have a husband at that age.”
As far as we know, the Hangzhou Songcheng theme park is the first and only company in China to introduce the remarkable measure. The company has not had any complaints from male singles who also want extra days. According to the management, the male staff work mainly in outside positions, which means that they will eventually meet the woman of their dreams.
Recently the Chinese government announced that the number of marriages in the republic has declined slightly in a few years. It is known that there are more and more marriages of convenience among strangers in China: among others intended to start a family or for image reasons.