The increase in statutory maternity leave to 14 weeks under the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 is effective from today (11 December 2020). Eligible employees whose confinement occurs on or after this date are entitled to 14 weeks of statutory maternity leave. Please see our July 2020 Legal Update "Statutory Maternity Leave to be Extended to 14 Weeks in Hong Kong" for details of the key changes under the amendment ordinance.
The Labour Department has recently released further details of the Reimbursement of Maternity Leave Pay Scheme (the Scheme) for employers in respect of the maternity leave pay for the additional four weeks of maternity leave.
The key details are:
- Employers will be able to apply via a one-stop online portal under the Scheme, which is to be implemented in the first half of 2021.
- As the Scheme is not currently in place, employers are required to keep relevant employment records and other related documents of pregnant employees in order to apply for reimbursement later.
- The relevant documents to be kept by employers include:
- Payment records of statutory maternity leave pay to the employee;
- Proof of the employee’s pregnancy; and
- The employee’s wage records for the 12 months immediately before the commencement of maternity leave.
That said, employers are already obliged to keep most of these documents under the Employment Ordinance.
The Labour Department has also issued a fact sheet on the Scheme, a set of FAQ and a leaflet on the changes under the amendment ordinance, which are available at the following links: