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LCQ17: Statutory paternity leave

     Following is a question by the Hon Kwok Wai-keung and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (April 20):


     Under the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 which came into operation on February 27 last year (the law on paternity leave), eligible male employees are entitled to three days' paternity leave for each confinement of their spouse or partner, and to receive paternity leave pay at the rate of 80% of their average daily wages. Regarding the implementation of the law on paternity leave, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it has compiled statistics on the number of male employees who have taken paternity leave during the period from February 27 last year to date, and the number of families involved; if it has, of the following information concerning such male employees:
(i) the type of organisations in which they work (i.e. public/private),
(ii) the number of days of paternity leave taken (i.e. less than three days, three days, four days, five days, six days, seven days and more than seven days),
(iii) the manner in which the paternity leave was taken (i.e. in one go, on separate days, and others),
(iv) the time when paternity leave was taken (i.e. within three to four weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child, within one to two weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child, within the first to the second week beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child, within three to four weeks beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child, within five to 10 weeks beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child, and others), and
(v) the rate of paternity leave pay (i.e. 100%, 80% of the male employee's average daily wages, and others); and

(2) given that the authorities have undertaken to review the operation of the law on paternity leave one year after its implementation, and explore areas for improvement of the relevant arrangements, whether such a review has commenced; if so, of the contents of the review and its progress; if not, the reasons for that and when the review will commence?

Reply :


     My reply to the two parts of the question raised by the Hon Kwok Wai-keung is as follows:

(1) Employers are statutorily required to provide paid paternity leave (PL) to their eligible male employees, as provided for in Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2014. Employers are also encouraged to provide, among others, PL benefits above the statutory PL to their male employees if and when practicable as a family friendly employment measure. Employers and employees are not required to report their PL arrangements to the Government. The Labour Department (LD) therefore does not have information on the number of employees who have taken PL and the number of families involved.  Nevertheless, it is roughly estimated that tens of thousands of eligible male employees and their families have enjoyed PL since the above-mentioned Amendment Ordinance has come into operation in February 2015.

(2) LD has just commenced its work on the review of the implementation of the statutory PL. LD will shortly report the progress of the review to the Labour Advisory Board and the Legislative Council Panel on Manpower.

Ends/Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:19


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