Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 237


EOC welcomes passage of Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019

The EOC issued a statement on 9 July 2020 welcoming the passage of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Legislative Council on the same day.

The Bill extends the statutory maternity leave under the Employment Ordinance from the current 10 weeks to 14 weeks. The Government will reimburse employers for the cost of the additional leave, capped at HK$80,000 per employee.

EOC Chairperson, Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin said, “We are pleased that the Legislative Council has passed the Bill, which demonstrates the Government’s commitment in promoting a family-friendly culture among employers. The move is also in line with the guidelines issued by the International Labour Organization, as well as recommendations made by the EOC over the years. Mothers and babies in Hong Kong will be able to enjoy greater health and well-being because of it.”

The Bill is the second of recent legislative changes that helped advance women's rights. As Mr Chu wrote in an article published by Hong Kong Free Press, last month saw the gazettal of the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2020, which, among other changes, amended the Sex Discrimination Ordinance to provide protection for breastfeeding women from direct and indirect discrimination in key sectors of public life, such as education, employment and the provision of goods, services and facilities.The Ordinance came into force on 19 June 2020, with the exception of the breastfeeding-related provisions which would come into force on 19 June 2021.