Date
18 December 2017
Under a new law, working dads will be entitled to three days of paternity leave from March. Photo: HKEJ
Under a new law, working dads will be entitled to three days of paternity leave from March. Photo: HKEJ

Men to get 3-day paternity leave from March

Members of the Legislative Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a law that grants new fathers three days of paternity leave, RTHK reported.

During the period, the new dads can get 80 percent of their average daily wages.

The Employment (Amendment) Bill was passed Thursday, with 52 lawmakers in favor and one abstaining.

The government hopes the new legislation will take effect in March next year.

Pan-democratic lawmakers failed to gain support for their proposal that working dads be granted seven days of paternity leave with full pay.

They also failed to have a provision inserted in the bill to ensure new fathers would not be fired after taking paternity leave.

The pan-democrats claimed that Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung had earlier threatened to withdraw the bill if their proposals were passed.

Denying the accusation, Cheung said the new law was a milestone for Hong Kong and pledged that his bureau will review the legislation one year after it is implemented to see whether there is any room for improvement.

Labor Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, who had insisted on seven days of paternity leave, said the government’s use of threats did not help mend the legislative-executive relationship but only made it more difficult for both sides to communicate in future.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying welcomed the result of the vote, saying he understood that some legislators and citizens do not consider three days of paternity leave sufficient, but it is a first step, just as with other major policies.

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TL/JP/FL

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