Legislation update - Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020

Employers should note that the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 (Ordinance) became effective on Friday, 11 December 2020.

Mothers whose babies are born after 11 December 2020 are therefore entitled to 14 weeks of statutory maternity leave (4 weeks more than they were previously entitled to).  Female employees who are entitled to paid statutory maternity leave will be entitled to the same amount of maternity leave pay for the 4 weeks additional period (ASML) (being 4/5ths of their average daily wages), but subject to a cap of HK$80,000 per employee for the ASML.

The Government of the HKSAR has undertaken to reimburse employers for up to HK$80,000 for the ASML.  The scheme allowing for employer to apply for reimbursement will be in place sometime in the first half of 2021 by way of an online portal.  Pending the introduction of the scheme, it is imperative that employers keep relevant employment and payment records as follows:

  • employers’ payment records of the 14 weeks’ statutory maternity leave pay (e.g. salary slips, bank transaction records, etc.);
  • wage records of the 12 months preceding the commencement of maternity leave of pregnant employees; and
  • pregnancy proof provided by employees to employers (e.g. medical certificates specifying the expected dates of confinement, medical certificates or certificates of attendance for medical examinations in relation to pregnancy, etc.).

The Ordinance also extends the period for a male employee to take paternity leave from four weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child to 14 weeks beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child, if his child is born on or after 11 December 2020 (an increase of four weeks from the previous period allowed).

If you have any questions regarding the Ordinance please contact a member of our team.