Mat Leave in the Kong


Our topic this week is discussing maternity leaves in our respective countries.  I have to say there isn’t much of one in Hong Kong, but I guess we can’t complain too much since there is some.  I moved to Hong Kong in 2008 without any intentions of worrying about getting pregnant and then thinking about maternity benefits, but then it happened.  It was never discussed when I was negotiating my work contract so I never worried about it.  So, when I found myself pregnant, I needed to ask about what happens since in Hong Kong, at my job, I was considered an employee.  In Canada, as a massage therapist, I was self employed so I would have had to arrange my own maternity leave. 

I actually had no idea I was entitled to maternity benefits until everyone kept asking me about it so I was given some guidance to take a look at the labour policies in Hong Kong which can be found quite easily in the HK labour department website.  I was told by my employer that I wasn’t entitled to maternity leave because of the type of work I was doing, but I found out I was!  So I approached my employer again and asked for them to look into it.  It took them some time, but in the end, they found out that I was entitled to 10 weeks paid leave where the pay is about 75% of your daily wages.  Because my company was small, they requested that I take a little bit less and then I could take a bit longer leave which I agreed to.  I ended up taking about 4 months of leave which most was unpaid, but I was very happy to take the extra time to spend with my new baby.

When I returned to work, I decided I didn’t want to work full time anymore and went part time so that the next time I did get pregnant, which I did, I wouldn’t be entitled to the maternity benefits.  This was okay with me as I pretty much decided that I would take an indefinite leave of absence.

Fast forward to today where my second child is now 1 year old and my first just over 2.  I’m grateful that I can spend more time with my kids at home and not have to race back to work.  I’m jealous of my Canadian mama friends who can usually take a full year off before heading back to work.

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About mommyhoodhk

I'm a mommy of 2, a daughter who just turned 5 (!) and a son who will soon be 4 (!). Living in Hong Kong and raising a little girl and a little boy married to a wonderful man who is supportive of all of my endeavors. Learning new things everyday and trying to be the best parent and wife I can be.
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One Response to Mat Leave in the Kong

  1. Good for you (and your friends) to do the sleuthing required to get your employer to comply. I realize that it must be difficult when valued employees leave for a chunk of time but the law is the law. Have any of our Canadian or American readers had difficulties with their bosses complying with Mat Leave laws?

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