EOC Welcomes Passage of Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes the passage of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Legislative Council today (9 July 2020). The Bill includes the increase of the statutory maternity leave under the Employment Ordinance from the current 10 weeks to 14 weeks. The additional maternity leave pay will be funded by the Government and the subsidy limit is $80,000 per employee.
Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, Chairperson of the EOC said, “The EOC is pleased that the Legislative Council has passed the Bill which demonstrates the Government’s commitment in implementing the recommendations of the ‘Family Friendly Employment Policy’. The move is also in line with the guidelines of a 14-week statutory maternity leave as recommended by the International Labour Organisation. The EOC has made the same recommendation to the Government through various research reports and submissions over the years.”
Mr CHU pointed out that this amendment will promote better implementation of family-friendly employment policies in Hong Kong. He said, "Increasing the statutory maternity leave to 14 weeks will be of great benefit to the health, growth and development of the baby, health of the mother, facilitation of breastfeeding practices etc. In addition, it will also have a positive effect on improving the fertility rate and increasing women’s labour participation rate."
Mr CHU added, "The Legislative Council passed the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 on June 11 this year, which included amending the Sex Discrimination Ordinance to provide better protection from direct and indirect discrimination for breastfeeding women in key fields such as employment, provision of services and facilities, and education. The passage of this bill which increases the statutory maternity leave to 14 weeks, will definitely complement the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2020 in encouraging childbearing and promoting breastfeeding.”
Equal Opportunities Commission
9 July 2020