Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
Tags: paternity leave
Our update "
A Spotlight on Fathers – the Arrival of Paternity
Leave" in March 2014 referred to the imminent arrival of
legislation to introduce three days' paternity leave in Hong
Kong. This proposal was greeted with unanimous acclaim and was
considered to be a balanced, and possibly overdue, benefit for new
As the primary terms (three days' leave and 80 percent pay)
of the benefit had already been approved at the Labour Advisory
Board (the LAB is the body comprising employee and employer
representatives at which "deals" are struck concerning
workplace regulation) the legislation was expected to sail through
the legislative process without drama.
Unfortunately even well meaning and uncontroversial legislation
can get caught in Hong Kong's highly emotional political
In essence, the deal which was reached between the unions and
the employers at the LAB has failed. Instead certain populist
legislators have proposed amendments to the legislation at the
Bills Committee stage which will increase the period of paternity
leave from three days to seven days.
These "committee stage amendments" have been passed by
the Bills Committee and, therefore, it will be in the revised
legislation, granting seven days' paternity leave, which will
be put before the Legislative Council for consideration.
Whether the revised legislation will now achieve the necessary
number of votes in LegCo must be in considerable doubt.
If it is passed in the proposed form then this will be
embarrassing for the government and the cost to employers will be
materially increased. In any case this ambush is likely to impact
the ability of the LAB to agree to future legislative changes, even
those which may appear uncontroversial, as the employer
representatives will not be able to trust the employee
representatives to control the politicians.
"Sign o' the Times" is a song by Prince from the
late '80s. It talks about AIDS (a "big disease with a
little name") and drug use. It was a precursor of what we used
to call "rap" music. The song is about change and was
indicative of change. The material changes to paternity leave
proposed by the Bills Committee could be an indication of similar
fundamental change in Hong Kong.
Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization
comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the Mayer
Brown Practices). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP, a
limited liability partnership established in the United States;
Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership
incorporated in England and Wales; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong
partnership, and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil &
Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer
Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown
logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their
This article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific
legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters
discussed herein. Please also read the JSM legal publications
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
On 1 January 2017 the Financial Services Rule Book 2016 comes into operation. With this will be the requirement on all Isle of Man licence holders to establish, implement and maintain an effective whistleblowing policy.
The Ministry of Human Resources has recently issued a string of new ministerial resolutions and decrees designed to address gaps in the employment regulatory framework and reinforce existing legislation...
In April 2016, the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data issued a Revised Code of Practice on Human Resource Management and new Guidelines on Monitoring and Personal Data Privacy at Work...
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).