The Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 (“Ordinance”) will come into effect on 11 December 2020. One of the key changes to be brought in under this statute is the increase in maternity leave entitlement for eligible female employees – statutory paid maternity leave will increase from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. This means that eligible female employees whose actual confinement occurs on or after 11 December 2020 will be entitled to the extended period of maternity leave.

Who is eligible? Female employees employed under a continuous employment contract for no less than 40 weeks and who satisfy the requisite notification requirements will be eligible.

How will the additional 4 weeks of maternity leave be calculated and who will pay for it? The calculation of maternity leave pay will remain unchanged but (1) a cap of HK$80,000 per employee will be imposed for the additional 4 weeks’ leave and (2) employers may seek reimbursement from the government for these additional 4 weeks. Details of this reimbursement scheme are yet to be announced.

Further information: Please see the “Enhancement to maternity leave benefits” section of our previous update for more details on this change and other key changes that will be brought about by the Ordinance.

Action point: Employers should update their internal policies and procedures to reflect the changes. If you need advice on updating or redrafting your policies and procedures, please contact us.