An amendment ordinance to extend the maternity leave under the Employment Ordinance from 10 weeks to 14 weeks will take effect on December 11, the Labour Department announced today.


The department explained that according to the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, an employee, if so entitled, should take the additional four weeks of maternity leave continuously after her 10 weeks’ maternity leave.


The current statutory rate of maternity leave pay, which is four-fifths of the employee’s average daily wages, will be maintained for calculating the additional maternity leave pay in respect of the extension of maternity leave, subject to a cap of $80,000 per employee.


The amendment ordinance also updates the definition of “miscarriage” under the Employment Ordinance from “before 28 weeks of pregnancy” to “before 24 weeks of pregnancy” to entitle a female employee whose child is incapable of survival after being born at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy to the maternity leave if other conditions are met.


Another amendment accepts a certificate of attendance issued by professionally trained people as documentary proof for entitling an eligible employee to sickness allowance for any day on which the employee has attended a medical examination in relation to her pregnancy.


The two amendments are applicable to the medical examinations held on or after December 11 and an eligible female employee who has a miscarriage on or after that day.


The department said that during the transitional period, if an employee’s expected date of confinement is close to this day, the employee and the employer should maintain communication about the employee’s actual date of confinement so as to confirm if the employee is entitled to the additional four weeks’ statutory maternity leave.


Employers may apply to the Government for full reimbursement of the amount of additional maternity leave pay that is required to be paid and has been paid under the amendment ordinance.


Click here for information on the Reimbursement of Maternity Leave Pay Scheme.


Call 2717 1771 for enquiries.

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