Statutory Leave Types in Hong Kong: An HR Guide

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Editor’s Note: Statutory Leave Types in Hong Kong: An HR Guide was published on 26 Nov 2018, and last updated on 25 Jun 2022.

As the holiday season approaches, many of us are planning to use that annual leave to spend more time with family and friends. So, we’ve written an overview of the different statutory leave types and requirements that are available in Hong Kong. 

Annual Leave

Hong Kong annual leave

Good to Know: Annual Leave Entitlement

Employees employed less than 12 months in the common leave year is eligible for annual leave on a pro-rata basis (rounded up to a full day of leave). Employees may use the granted pro-rata annual leave before the start of the next common leave year; alternatively, they can allow it to be brought forward.

Years of ServiceAnnual Leave Entitlement
17
27
38
49
510
611
712
813
9 or above14

Employer Obligations

Employers may:

  • select a period of 12 consecutive months as the common leave year for all employees e.g. 1 Jan to 31 Dec, or
  • select any period of 12 months commencing on the day on which individual employment commences and an anniversary of such day.

An employer should not include in an employment contract a term to forego all or any of his employee’s annual leave entitlement, including payment of wages in lieu of any annual leave days. However, the law allows an employee to choose to accept payment in lieu of that part of his leave entitlement which exceeds 10 days.

An employee is entitled to pro-rata annual leave pay between 3 months and 12 months’ service in a leave year if his employment contract is terminated unless the employee is dismissed by summary dismissal.

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We’ve written a detailed guide on Annual Leave requirements and applications. Read it here.

Sick Leave

Hong Kong sick leave

Good to Know: Sick Leave Payment Calculation

The daily rate of sickness allowance is calculated as 80% of the average daily wages earned by an employee in the 12-month period preceding the first day of sickness. If an employee has been employed for fewer than 12 months, the calculation is based on the shorter period.

The allowance should be paid to the employee no later than the normal payday.

Conditions for taking paid sickness day(s)

Paid sickness days are divided into two categories – paid sickness days can first be accumulated up to 36 days in Category 1 and then 84 days in Category 2.

CategoryTotal NumberConditions for taking paid sickness day(s)
Category 136supported by a medical certificate issued by:
– a registered medical practitioner,
– a registered Chinese medicine practitioner or
– a registered dentist

regarding an employee’s medical examination in relation to her pregnancy, may also be supported by a certificate of attendance issued by:
– a registered medical practitioner,
– a registered Chinese medicine practitioner,
– a registered midwife or
– a registered nurse, apart from a medical certificate
Category 284Sickness days taken exceeds the number of paid sickness days remaining in Category 1.

If required by the employer, a medical certificate issued by:
– a registered medical practitioner,
– a registered Chinese medicine practitioner or
– a registered dentist…
attending the employee as an out-patient or in-patient in a hospital. A brief record of the investigation carried out and the treatment prescribed by the issuer of the medical certificate should also be produced.

An employee’s medical examination in relation to her pregnancy may also produce a certificate of attendance issued by:
– a registered medical practitioner,
– a registered Chinese medicine practitioner,
– a registered midwife or
– a registered nurse…
who conducts the examination for the employee as an out-patient or in-patient in a hospital, apart from a medical certificate.

Read our detailed guide on Hong Kong’s Sick Leave requirements and payment

Maternity Leave

maternity leave hong kong

Good to Know: Applying for Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee can decide to start her maternity leave from two to four weeks before the expected date of confinement. If the employee does not decide on the date or fails to secure her employer’s agreement, her maternity leave shall commence four weeks before the expected date of confinement.

Maternity leave will commence on the date of confinement if it occurs before the scheduled maternity leave. The employee should give notice of the date of confinement and her intention to take 10 weeks of maternity leave to her employer within seven days of her confinement.

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The distinction between Maternity Leave and Sick Leave

When the employee’s absence from work to attend medical examination in relation to her pregnancy is supported by an appropriate medical certificate* or a certificate of attendance**, any such day on which she is absent shall be counted as a sickness day. Under such circumstances, if the employee has accumulated sufficient number of paid sickness days, each sickness day shall be paid sickness allowance which is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of her average daily wages. 

* The medical certificate should specify the number of days on which, and the nature of the sickness or injury on account of which, the employee is unfit for work. 

** The certificate of attendance should state the employee’s attendance for a medical examination in relation to her pregnancy and the relevant date. It should be issued by a registered medical practitioner, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner, a registered midwife or a registered nurse. Certificate of attendance is not applicable to a medical examination in relation to pregnancy conducted before 11 December 2020.

Check out the Talenox guide to Maternity Leave in Hong Kong

Paternity Leave

Good to know: Notice Period for Paternity Leave

An employee would be eligible for the aforementioned paternity leave if he –

  1. is the father of a new-born child or a father-to-be;
  2. has been employed under a continuous contract; and
  3. has given the required notification to the employer.

An employee must give notice of his intention to take paternity leave at least 3 months before the expected delivery date of the child. If he fails to do so, he must notify the employer at least 5 days before the leave commences.

Read more about Paternity Leave in Hong Kong here

Statutory and General Holidays

Hong Kong holidays

Good to Know: Working on Statutory Holidays

An employer may request for an employee to work on statutory holidays, but it is required that she/he gives the employee at least 48 hours’ notice. The employer must then arrange a replacement holiday within 60 days before or after the statutory holiday. Also, if the employer and employee agree, any day within 30 days of the statutory or replacement holiday may be taken by the employee as a substitute holiday. In this situation, we advise that employers keep records of such replacement holidays.

General Holidays in 2022

Every Sunday Sunday
The first day of January1 JanuarySaturday
Lunar New Year’s Day1 FebruaryTuesday
The second day of Lunar New Year2 FebruaryWednesday
The third day of Lunar New Year3 FebruaryThursday
Ching Ming Festival5 AprilTuesday
Good Friday15 AprilFriday
The day following Good Friday16 AprilSaturday
Easter Monday18 AprilMonday
The day following Labour Day2 MayMonday
The day following the Birthday of the Buddha9 MayMonday
Tuen Ng Festival3 JuneFriday
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day1 JulyFriday
The second day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival12 SeptemberMonday
National Day1 OctoberSaturday
Chung Yeung Festival4 OctoberTuesday
The first weekday after Christmas Day26 DecemberMonday
The second weekday after Christmas Day27 DecemberTuesday

General Holidays in 2023

Every Sunday Sunday
The day following the first day of January2 JanuaryMonday
The second day of Lunar New Year23 JanuaryMonday
The third day of Lunar New Year24 JanuaryTuesday
The fourth day of Lunar New Year25 JanuaryWednesday
Ching Ming Festival5 AprilWednesday
Good Friday7 AprilFriday
The day following Good Friday8 AprilSaturday
Easter Monday10 AprilMonday
Labour Day1 MayMonday
The Birthday of the Buddha26 MayFriday
Tuen Ng Festival22 JuneThursday
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day1 JulySaturday
The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival30 SeptemberSaturday
The day following National Day2 OctoberMonday
Chung Yeung Festival23 OctoberMonday
Christmas Day25 DecemberMonday
The first weekday after Christmas Day26 DecemberTuesday

Learn more about statutory leave types in Hong Kong

Talenox comes with pre-set Statutory Leave Types in Hong Kong

For detailed info on how to use the Leave module on Talenox, we’ve put together a visual guide!

We’ve also created a section on our Knowledge Centre solely for our Hong Kong users. It contains useful information on all the Talenox apps, statutory regulations in Hong Kong, as well as pricing and subscription information. Browse around or search for a topic you’re keen to find out more about!

2 replies on “ Statutory Leave Types in Hong Kong: An HR Guide ”
  1. How do you handle the 713 legislation for hong kong where average pay has to be used for commission staff on leave payment

    1. Hi Daniel!

      We usually take the past 12 months of payroll processed in Talenox, in order for us to compute the Average Daily Wage (ADW). Our engineers are also building a direct integration from our Leave module to Payroll module to automatically calculate the ADW for Maternity, Paternity, and Sick leave. Your commission staff will be able to get their ADW calculated for their leave payment very soon. =)

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