With effect from 11 December 2020, statutory maternity leave under the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance (Cap 57) was extended from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. The Reimbursement of Maternity Leave Pay Scheme (‘the scheme’) is now open for applications.

The Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo) passed the bill and the measure will benefit approximately 27,000 pregnant women annually in Hong Kong. With the scheme now open, employers can apply for a reimbursement of the statutory maternity leave pay paid to employees for the additional 11th to 14th weeks of maternity leave, subject to a cap of HK$80,000 per employee.

In order for the applicant (the employer) to be reimbursed for the additional four weeks, the following conditions must be met:

  • The employee relevant to the application is entitled to maternity leave and maternity pay under the Employment Ordinance (EO)
  • The employee has already taken their maternity leave and the employer has paid 14 weeks of maternity leave to the employee
  • The employees maternity leave occurred on or after 11 December 2020
  • The additional four weeks' maternity leave pay paid to the employee by the employer has not been, and will not be, covered or subsidised by any other government funding

When an employer applies for the reimbursement, they must submit an application for each employee no later than three months after the last day of the employee’s 14 weeks maternity leave. Click here for further details of the application process.

If you are interested in doing business in Hong Kong, find out everything you need to know about payroll, tax, social security, employee benefits, work permits, employment law and more in the activpayroll Guide to Doing Business in Hong Kong. This is available as a free PDF to download.

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