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Labour benefits mooted

October 11, 2017

The Government plans to extend the statutory paternity leave from three to five days, and to launch a study on lengthening the 10-week statutory maternity leave.


Delivering her 2017 Policy Address today, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Labour Advisory Board and lawmakers will be consulted of the paternity leave proposal within this year.


On the offsetting of severance payments or long-service payments with Mandatory Provident Fund contributions, Mrs Lam said the practice should be abolished, and the Government is willing to increase its financial commitment to subsidise employers after the offsetting arrangement is scrapped.


The Secretary for Labour & Welfare will continue to discuss the matter with employers and employees, and a proposal which takes into account the interests of both parties will be put forward in the coming months, she added.


The Policy Address also outlined the labour situation. With an aging population and a declining birth rate, the overall labour force in Hong Kong is expected to continue to drop after reaching the peak in 2019 to 2022.


While the Government will discuss with industries ways to enhance training and attract new recruits, especially young people, it will, on the premise that local workers’ priority for jobs will be safeguarded, explore with industries the possibility of increasing imported labour on an appropriate and limited scale to deal with the problems. 


Consideration may be given to allowing subsidised elderly service and rehabilitation service units more flexibility in importing carers.