KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2019 – Shop and Office Employees and Maternity Benefits Ordinance

The Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act and the Maternity Benefits Ordinance have been amended by Acts nos. 14 and 15, of 2018, respectively, both of which were certified on 18 June 2018 to include:
• The removal of the limit of eighty-four working days paid maternity leave in respect of the first two children which will now be available regardless of the number of children the employee has at the relevant time;
• Under the Shop and Office Act the entitlement to two nursing intervals during the course of a normal working day for female employees who are nursing a child under one year of age; and
• Under the Maternity Benefits Ordinance, the entitlement to twelve weeks’ paid leave regardless of the number of children the employee has at the time of the confinement, where the confinement results in a live birth and the additional provision that the maternity benefits/leave provided for is to be in addition to any holiday or leave to which the employee is entitled under any other law or regulation.

Amendments to minimum wages

There have also been several Wages Boards decisions amending minimum wages. In addition to amendments of minimum wages in nine trades notified during the course of July 2018, the Wages Boards have amended the minimum wages for a further nine trades, (including but not limited to coconut growing, rubber export, nursing home etc.), who will see an increase in their wages as published in Gazette no. 2090/14 of 25 September 2018.

Published by Paul Hastings with thanks to John Wilson of John Wilson Partners for his invaluable collaboration on this update.