Hong Kong’s 14-week maternity leave takes effect December 11
Hong Kong’s statutory maternity leave will increase from 10 weeks to 14 weeks effective Dec 11, a major amendment to its maternity leave since 1955.
Female employees whose confinement occurs on or after Dec 11 would be entitled to a 14-week maternity leave. Under the Employment Ordinance amendment, maternity leave pay is to be calculated at four-fifths the daily average of the wages earned by the employee.
The government will reimburse employers for the cost of the additional leave, which was capped at HK$36,822 (US$4,750), then raised to HK$80,000 (US$10,320) in June in response to union demands.
This means the government will foot the entire bill for the four additional weeks of maternity leave for workers who make HK$100,000 (US12,900) or less each month.
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Chief Executive Carrie Lam first announced the amendment to the Employment Ordinance in a policy address two years ago, and pledged to lengthen the statutory maternity leave to 14 weeks.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said that the bill would support and encourage working women to breastfeed for longer, therefore improving the health and development of their children, according to China Daily.