Maternity leave in Hong Kong increases

Hong Kong law extends maternity leave.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong has passed an amendment that extends the length of maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14.

Under the existing law, a female employee is entitled to 10 weeks’ maternity leave if she is employed under a continuous contract immediately before her maternity leave commences, and has given notice of pregnancy and her intention to take maternity leave to her employer.

The Amendment Ordinance extends this period to 14 weeks and includes other amendments such as updating the definition of miscarriage from “before 28 weeks of pregnancy” to 24 weeks. This update entitles an employee who has had a miscarriage to maternity leave.

Eligible employees are entitled to sickness allowance for any day on which they have a medical examination in relation to pregnancy. Employers may approach the government for the reimbursement of the costs for the additional maternity leave, however, the government has yet to announce details around this. If maternity leave starts before 11 December, the current legislation applies and only 10 weeks of maternity leave is granted.

The amendment does not apply to male employees, who remain entitled to five days of paternity leave.