Sick Leave Pay

What is sick leave pay?

Sick leave pay is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the normal wages that employees would have earned if they had worked.

For an employee who is paid on a piece-by-piece basis or at different daily wages, the sick leave pay to which he is entitled is equal to the average daily wages earned by the employee during each complete wage period, and the employer shall, no later than the normal wage pays sickness benefits to its employees on a daily basis.

*A wage period is a period of not less than 28 days and not more than 31 days preceding or ending on the first day of sick leave.

Sick leave pay Hong Kong

According to the Employment Ordinance, an employee employed under a continuous contract is entitled to sick leave pay if:

  • The sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days (unless for any day off taken by a female employee for her pregnancy check-ups, post confinement medical treatment or miscarriage, any such day on which she is absent shall be counted as a
    sickness day and, subject to the following conditions, be paid sickness allowance);
  • The sick leave is supported by an appropriate medical certificate; and
  • The employee has accumulated a sufficient number of paid sickness days (Note: Paid sickness days can be accumulated up to a maximum of 120 days. It is accumulated at the rate of 2 paid sickness days for each completed month of employment under a continuous contract during the first 12 months of employment, and 4 paid sickness days per month thereafter.)

However, the employee is not entitled to sick leave pay if:

  • The employee, without reasonable excuse, refuses treatment by a company doctor of a medical scheme that is recognised by the Director of Health or disregards the advice of that doctor;
  • The sickness day falls on a statutory holiday on which the employee is entitled to holiday pay; or
  • Compensation is payable under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance.

How to calculate sick leave pay?

The daily rate of sick leave pay is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the average daily wages earned by an employee in the preceding 12-month. If an employee is employed for less than 12 months, the calculation shall be based on the shorter period.

Paid sickness day Specified date
1 day ​​The sickness day
More than 1 consecutive day The first sickness day

The employee taking any of the leave below: leave provided under the Employment Ordinance (i.e. rest day, statutory holiday, annual leave, maternity leave, paternity leave or sickness day);sick leave due to work injuries as provided under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance; or leave taken with the agreement of the employer; the employee not being provided by the employer with work on any normal working day; payments made during the period.

More details please refer to Appendix 1 A Guide to the Calculation of Relevant Statutory Entitlements on the Basis of the 12-Month Average Wages with Examples

Example of sick leave pay calculation

Example: A monthly rate employee has unpaid rest day, with monthly salary HK$10,000, assuming the average wage is (HK$10,000/26) = HK$$384.62

The working record in November 2021: 21 working days, 2 sick days, 3 rest days, 4 sick leave days with payment, total 30 days

The monthly payroll calculation is as follows, is it correct?
((HK$10,000/26) X 21 ) + ((((HK$384.62 X 4) / 5 ) X 4) =HK$9,307.70

Question: There should be 4 rest days per month, and 1 rest day is missing due to 4 consecutive days of sick leave in this month. Do I need to make up for 1 rest day? Is the above calculation method correct?

Answer: There are not 4 rest days per month, but 1 day out of 7. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the number of rest days in the current month to calculate the average daily wage.


When calculating sick leave pay, it is important to remember the days that should be counted and the days that should not be counted. On the basis of “memorising”, you should also understand the logic and calculation methods behind it.

If you combine your own understanding with the payroll & human resources system Workstem, which is in compliance with the local laws in Hong Kong, you don’t need to find all the information of an employee in multiple excels when calculating payroll, and you can save a lot of time and repetitive work. Get twice the result with half the effort.

Read more:
Why Are There Such Big Differences among Sick Leaves?
How paid sick leave should be calculated?