Maternity Leave/Paternity Leave

What is maternity leave?

Maternity leave Hong Kong

Maternity leave is an employee benefit that working women enjoy to apply for leave after pregnancy and childbirth.

According to the Employment Ordinance, employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave if they meet the following conditions:

  • has been employed under a continuous contract for 40 weeks prior to the commencement of the prescribed maternity leave;
  • Giving notice to the employer of the pregnancy and the intention to take maternity leave, such as presenting the employer with a medical certificate confirming the pregnancy; and
  • If requested by the employer, a medical certificate stating the expected date of delivery has been submitted to the employer.
  • If the employee has served the employer under a continuous contract for less than 40 weeks before the commencement of the prescribed maternity leave, he can enjoy 14* weeks of unpaid maternity leave as long as he gives the employer a notice of pregnancy and preparation for maternity leave.

*Eligible employees are entitled to 10 consecutive weeks of maternity leave if they give birth before 11 December 2020.

Click here to learn more about maternity leave pay calculation.

Why is maternity leave important?

Maternity leave provides health and financial security for mothers and newborn babies. After giving birth, it takes a woman some time to regain her strength, adjust to a new family structure, and support her newborn. According to the International Labor Organization, longer maternity leave reduces the chances of premature births, pregnancy and postpartum depression, and maternal and infant mortality. Longer maternity leave was also associated with longer periods of breastfeeding for new mothers.

What is paternity leave?

Paternity leave Hong Kong

Paternity leave is a statutory labour holiday for Hong Kong male employees.

A male employee is entitled to paternity leave for each confinement of his spouse/partner if he meets the following requirements:

  • he is the father of a new-born child or a father-to-be;
  • he has been employed under a continuous contract (i.e. employed continuously by the same employer for 4 weeks or more and has been working for at least 18 hours each week); and
  • he has notified his employer in accordance with the law.

Click here to learn more about paternity leave pay calculation.

Why is paternity leave important?

Although a newborn baby brings joy to the family, it also brings a lot of trivial work. If a male employee takes paternity leave, he will have more time to take care of his child to reduce the burden on his wife, and take on more family responsibilities. UNICEF pointed out that if fathers have a close relationship and good communication with their children, in the long run, children will be mentally healthier, have stronger self-esteem and be more satisfied with life.

Paternity leave not only reflects family importance, but also protects labour rights. The establishment of paternity leave can reduce social prejudice, bring positive benefits to society, and promote gender equality to create a friendly, harmonious and inclusive society.


Workstem supports employers to customise leave types and policies according to their needs.

Through the Workstem One App, employees can check their leave balances and submit leave applications; supervisors or HR can approve anytime, anywhere without any of the applications missed.

The store is busy and can not pay attention to the latest public holiday policy? Workstem is in compliance with Labour Legislation and updates in time meet your compliance needs.

Read more: [HR Guide] Maternity Leave