Hong Kong: Statutory Paternity Leave Increased

By © Ius Laboris February 8, 2019

​Hong Kong male employees are entitled to five days' paid paternity leave for each child born on or after Jan. 18, an increase from the former entitlement to three days' leave. The additional two days' payment will not be subsidized by the government.

To qualify, a Hong Kong male employee must:

  • Have been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately prior to the intended commencement of the leave.
  • Have given the required notification of the intention to take leave to the employer.
  • Provide evidence that he is the father of the child.

Paternity leave days can be taken separately or consecutively but must be taken within the period of four weeks prior to the expected date of delivery and 10 weeks following the birth of the child.

Employers should update their policies and procedures to reflect the change.

Proposed Increase in Maternity Leave

A proposed increase to statutory maternity leave was also flagged by Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, last year; however, such an increase is yet to receive legislative approval. The current proposal would involve an increase in statutory paid maternity leave from 10 to 14 weeks.

As with the existing 10 weeks' leave, the additional four weeks would be paid at a rate of four-fifths of the employee's average daily wages over the previous 12 months. However, payment for the additional leave would be capped at 36,822 Hong Kong dollars ($4,692) per month, which is equivalent to four-fifths of the wages of an employee with a monthly wage of 50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,371). It is expected that employers will be able to seek reimbursement from the Hong Kong government for payment of the extended leave. Payment for the initial 10 weeks' leave will remain the burden of the employer.

Ius Laboris is the world's largest global HR and employment law firm alliance. The article was led by Catherine Leung and Louise Le Pla, attorneys with Lewis Silkin LLP in Hong Kong. © 2019 Ius Laboris. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.



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