Hong Kong employment law is to be amended to:

(a) remove the requirement that the employee must have worked for her employer for a minimum period of 26 weeks of continuous employment, so that any pregnant employee under a continuous contract will qualify for maternity leave pay;

(b) abolish the limitation on the number of children a working mother may have in order to be entitled to maternity leave pay. Previously, a female employee who had already given birth to two surviving children was exempt from any further payments;

(c) provide greater protection to a pregnant employee, by making it more difficult for an employer to terminate her contract of employment during her pregnancy;

(d) giving the employee more flexibility in commencing her maternity leave.


Further changes are proposed to:

(a) make the presumption, in contracts of employment made after commencement of the new provision, that an annual payment or annual bonus is owed to the employee as of right, unless the contract states otherwise;

(b) entitle employees to interest if wages are not paid within 7 days from the day on which they become due;

(c) allow employees to terminate their contracts of employment without notice or payment in lieu of notice if wages are one month overdue;

(d) reduce to 5 the number of years service required before an employee is entitled to a long service payment (previously this was calculated on a sliding scale depending on age); and

(e) permit overtime pay of a constant or substantial nature (i.e. 20% of average monthly wages), non-gratuitous bonuses and commission to be included when calculating wages for the purposes of employment entitlements.

Note: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. If you would like further advise please contact:
David Ellis
Johnson Stokes & Master
16th Floor, Prince's Building
10 Chater Road
Hong Kong

Telephone No: +2843 4226
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