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Statutory paternity leave comes into force today

     Statutory paternity leave has come into effect today (February 27).

     Under the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2014, male employees with a child born on or after February 27, 2015, are entitled to three days' paternity leave for each confinement of their spouse or partner if they have been employed under a continuous contract and have notified their employers in accordance with the law. Furthermore, if the employee has been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the day of paternity leave and has provided the birth certificate of his child to his employer, the employer must pay him paternity leave pay in respect of the paternity leave taken by him at the rate of four-fifths of his average daily wages.

     Employees may take paternity leave at any time during the period from four weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child to 10 weeks beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child. The three days of paternity leave may be taken in one go or on separate days.

     "If the employee has notified his employer of his intention to take paternity leave at least three months before the expected date of delivery of the child, he may take paternity leave immediately after informing his employer of the actual date(s) of leave. If the employee has not given the three months' advance notice to the employer, he must notify the employer of his date(s) of paternity leave at least five days before taking leave," a spokesperson for the Labour Department said.

     "If an employee's child is born shortly after the commencement of the law on paternity leave, he may not be able to satisfy the legal requirement to give his employer three months' advance notice. If the employee has genuine needs to take paternity leave urgently, we call on employers to flexibly handle such requests and waive all or part of the five-day advance notice to assist their employees in attending to their family needs," the spokesperson added.

     To assist employers, employees and the public in understanding this new statutory benefit, the Labour Department has published "A Concise Guide to Paternity Leave under the Employment Ordinance", which is available at the branch offices of the department's Labour Relations Division and the Public Enquiry Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department. The Concise Guide and further information on statutory paternity leave are also available on the department's website: .

     For further enquiries, employers and employees may call the 24-hour Telephone Enquiry Service hotline at 2717 1771 (the hotline is handled by 1823) or approach the branch offices of the Labour Relations Division.

Ends/Friday, February 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:05


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