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Understanding Statutory Leave Types in Hong Kong

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Apart from sick days and vacations what other unpaid and paid leaves do you offer your workers? There are several leaves that the HR or an employer offers its employees. The leaves are legally mandated. Some of the statutory leaves in Hong Kong include paternity leave, annual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is granted to the father before or shortly before the birth of a child. In Hong Kong, before a father can be given a paternity leave, he must have been employed in no less than 40 weeks. Additionally, a man can be entitled to paternity leave if they adopt a child and assume full responsibility. However, this only applies if the adopted children the age of eighteen years.

Notably, the leave is granted in three days, which may be taken separately or consecutively depending on the choosing of the employee. Also, an employee is required to notify the management of their intention to take paternal leave three months prior to and if not at least five days before the leave. While on paternity leave, the father/ employee earns 80% of the total payments in a typical working day, and that is what the employee receives for compensation during the leave. New fathers in Hong Kong will be enjoying five days’ leave as opposed to the regular three days.

Annual Leave

An employee in Hong Kong is entitled to annual leave after being employed in a continuous contract for every 12 months. However, one may also be eligible for leave if they have worked for three months, and they may be eligible for two days’ leave. Notably, the annual leave days increase progressively to a maximum of 14 days, depending on the number of years served by the employee. The number of days increases by one every year until the eighth year when the leave days stagnate at fourteen. Besides, employees are eligible for annual leaves if the contract lengths exceed 12 months, if the same employee employs them for at least four weeks, and if they work at least eighteen hours a week.

Employees who have worked for an employer in less than twelve months are allowed to use the pro-rata basis. This basis calculates the number of days he or she is entitled to, which are rounded off to a whole day. Before the beginning of another twelve months, the employees can decide to use their annual leave days or carry forward to the next year.

Sick Leave

Employees in Hong Kong are entitled to get paid during their sick leave days. The law states that the employees are entitled to receive 80% of the total daily wages in a day preceding the sick leave days.

The employee should be paid not later than the payment days of the other wages. However, the employees are not allowed to accumulate the sick leave days to more than 120 days. The sick leave days are calculated as two days per month for the first twelve months, which later increases to four days after the thirteenth month. However, there are conditions for taking paid sickness days. For instance, for an employee to take a maximum of 36 sickness days, they must provide a medical certificate issued by a registered Chinese medical practitioner or dentist. Nevertheless, an employee is not entitled to a sickness leave for issues pertaining to pregnancy.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is entitled to pregnant employees who are entitled to a ten weeks continuous maternity leave. However, for an employee to be eligible for paid maternity leave, they must have worked in the company for at least 40 weeks before the leave. Notably, the leave payment is calculated by taking eighty percent of the average daily wages for the ten weeks. The employee can inform the management of their intention to start the leave two to four weeks before the confinement date. However, should they fail to notify the employer, the leave shall commence four weeks before the date of confinement?

What to note

The list provided above is not all-inclusive of all types of conceivable leaves. However, it contains some of the primary leaves Hong Kong, companies and departments offers. The employees must inform their employee early enough to enable planning in the departments. This might help to avoid a situation where too many employees take leave at the same time, bringing about a shortage in the office.

We have recently included new HR regulatory blogs in Hong Kong for your better understanding of the market. At JustLogin, our system is constantly updated to comply with statutory leave types in Hong Kong. Read here to understand how JustLogin’s leave module is able to help you improve your HR processes. Alternatively, book a consultation with us for more info.

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