Hong Kong Maternity Leave Update: 14 Weeks' Statutory Maternity Leave to come into effect on 11 December 2020

By Pattie Walsh, Jeannette Tam


Hong Kong will finally catch up with the International Labour Organisation’s recommendation that female employees be given 14 weeks of statutory maternity leave. This entitlement (amongst others) will come into effect on 11 December 2020 as the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 ("Amendment").

The Amendment provides for:

  • extension of maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14 weeks for female employees who have been under a continuous contract;

  • employers to be able to claim a reimbursement from the Government for any maternity leave pay that is payable for the additional 4 weeks' maternity leave. The reimbursement amount is capped at HK$80,000;

  • a female employee to be entitled to the 14 weeks' maternity leave if they suffer a "miscarriage" at 24 weeks pregnancy or beyond (as opposed to the original 28 weeks of pregnancy); and

  • a certificate of attendance (as opposed to a medical certificate) at a registered medical practitioner, nurse or midwife (as opposed to just a registered medical practitioner) being acceptable proof in respect of a claim for sickness allowance where a female employee is attending a medical examination in relation to her pregnancy.

For more information, please visit our previous article.