Due to Hong Kong’s changing societal attitude towards a father’s responsibilities in the family and the public demand for granting leave to male employees around the time of childbirth, the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-Ying, announced in his Policy Address last year that the Government will take steps to promote family-friendly employment practices by (i) looking into the provision of paid paternity leave for civil servants; and (ii) conducting a study on legislating paternity leave.
Following this, in April 2012, the Civil Service Bureau introduced an initiative granting male civil servants (under a continuous employment contract for at least 40 weeks) eligibility to apply for paternity leave of five working days on full pay upon the birth of each child.
Since the policy address, the Government has been actively considering the possibility of legislating paternity leave. Various studies and surveys have been carried out to collect all relevant information. In a recent Legislative Council briefing paper of 28 May 2013, the Government has confirmed that it is pressing ahead with the preparatory work for drafting a bill legislating three days paid paternity leave (for male employees under a continuous employment contract for at least 40 weeks) at the same level of allowance as statutory maternity leave pay (ie, 80% of the daily average of wages earned by the employee during the 12 months preceding the commencement of leave).
The Government’s aim is to introduce a bill into the Legislative Council at the beginning of the 2013-2014 legislative session.