Male employees to enjoy five days’ paternity leave

The Secretary for Labour and Welfare has recently, by notice published in the Gazette, appointed 18 January 2019 as the day on which the Employment (Amendment) (No.3) Ordinance 2018 (Ordinance) comes into operation.

The Ordinance seeks to increase the statutory paternity leave from three days to five days. It was passed by the Legislative Council on 25 October 2018 after rounds of heated debate. Pursuant to this amendment, male employees that have a child born on or after 18 January 2019 will be entitled to five days’ paid paternity leave, to be taken consecutively or separately for each confinement of their spouse or partner, if they fulfil other requirements stipulated in the law. They may take paternity leave at any time during the period beginning four weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child and ending ten weeks after the actual date of delivery of the child. The daily rate of paternity leave pay will be paid at the rate of four-fifths of the daily average wages earned by the male employee in the 12-month period preceding the day of paternity leave.

Employers should review their paternity leave policies and procedures and make necessary adjustments to ensure compliance with this policy change.