Legal update: Reimbursement of Statutory Maternity Leave Pay is now open for applications from employers14Apr2021
Statutory maternity leave was increased from 10 weeks to 14 weeks effective from 11 December 2020. The Labour Department has recently announced that employers can now apply for reimbursement of the statutory maternity leave pay paid to employees in respect of the 11th to 14th weeks, subject to a cap of $80,000 per employee.
An application for reimbursement of the additional four weeks must meet the following requirements:
- the employee relevant to the application is entitled to maternity leave and maternity leave pay under the Employment Ordinance;
- the employee has taken her maternity leave and the employer has paid 14 weeks’ maternity leave pay to the employee;
- the employee gave birth on or after December 11, 2020; and
- the additional four weeks’ maternity leave pay paid to the employee has not been and will not be covered or subsidised by other government funding.
Should an employer wish to apply for reimbursement, it must submit an application for each employee not later than 3 months after the last day of the employee’s 14 weeks maternity leave, or not later than 3 months after the commencement of this scheme on 1 April 2021, whichever is the later. The employer should submit the following documents:
- A completed Employer Application Form (available for downloading on the REP);
- A completed Employee Declaration Form which the Labour Department suggests should be completed prior to the commencement of maternity leave (available for downloading on the REP);
- Proof of payment of the 14 weeks’ maternity leave pay (e.g. bank transaction records, salary transfer statement or records of cheques issued by the employer);
- Proof of a bank account for receiving reimbursement (e.g. monthly bank statement);
- Registration / identity document relating to the employer (e.g. business registration certificate); and
- Employee’s proof of pregnancy (e.g. medical certificate specifying expected date of confinement or birth certificate).
If requested by the Labour Department, the employer may be required to provide further information including payment proof of the 12 months’ wages immediately preceding the commencement of the employee’s maternity leave and the employment contract. Failure to do so may render the application unapproved and/or the employer may be liable to repay any reimbursement received.
The application for reimbursement of the additional four weeks’ statutory maternity leave pay can be accessed via the Labour Department’s Reimbursement Easy Portal.
Further details can be found in our previous articles:
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Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.