Legal update: Period of Statutory Maternity Leave to be extended to 14 weeks from 11 December 202012Oct2020
The Government announced last week that the Hong Kong Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 (“Amendment Ordinance”) will come into operation on 11 December 2020.
The Amendment Ordinance increases the statutory maternity leave entitlements under the Employment Ordinance (Cap 57) in Hong Kong from 10 weeks to 14 weeks, to be taken continuously. Further details of the Amendment Ordinance can be found in our previous article.
For the period until 11 December 2020, the following transitional provisions apply:
- If a female employee’s confinement occurs prior to 11 December 2020, her maternity leave period remains the current entitlement of 10 weeks. If a female employee’s confinement occurs on or after 11 December 2020, her maternity leave period will be extended to 14 weeks and she may be entitled to additional maternity leave pay provided certain conditions are fulfilled.
- This applies equally to statutory paternity leave so that if the child is born on or after 11 December 2020, statutory paternity leave may be taken in the period beginning 4 weeks before the expected date of confinement and shall be extended from 10 to 14 weeks after the actual date of confinement.
- In the event a female employee has served notice of pregnancy and her employment is then unlawfully terminated on or after 11 December 2020, the employer may be liable to pay maternity leave pay for 14 weeks. However, this shall not apply if the female employee’s confinement occurs prior to 11 December 2020.
Finally, the Government has yet to announce details of how employers may apply for reimbursement of the additional 4 weeks statutory maternity leave pay paid by the employer under the Amendment Ordinance.
If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised in this article, please contact:
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.