On 27 December 2019, the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the "Bill") was gazetted by the Hong Kong Government. The Bill relates to the proposed amendments to the maternity benefits of female employees who are employed under a continuous contract of employment.

The proposed amendments under the Bill are:

  • An increase in the statutory maternity leave entitlement from the existing 10 weeks to 14 weeks;
  • The maternity leave pay for the extended period of maternity leave shall be at the rate of four-fifths of the employee's daily average wages, subject to a cap of HK$36,822;
  • The shortening of the period of pregnancy mentioned in the definition of "miscarriage" from 28 weeks to 24 weeks (i.e. miscarriage means the child is incapable of survival after being born before 24 weeks of pregnancy);
  • The acceptance of a certificate of attendance as proof for entitlement to sickness allowance for a day on which a female employee attends a medical examination in relation to her pregnancy.

The Bill is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council for First Reading on 8 January 2020.

See the gazetted bill here: https://www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20192352/es32019235223.pdf