HSBC, the biggest bank in Hong Kong, will revise its parental leave policy, starting January 1, 2024. According to media reports, the bank will increase maternity leave for full-time staff to 20 weeks, up from the existing 16 weeks. The organisation will also give new fathers 40 days of paternity leave — a dramatic increase from the current 10 days.
In addition, the HSBC will give staff an extra four hours of personal or carer time each month — which is currently two hours per month — during which employees can attend to family, personal, and education matters.
The move will allow, “working parents [to] have more time to welcome and enjoy the arrival of their newest family member,” says the bank, and “empower employees to not only achieve their professional goals but also prioritise the well-being of their families and personal lives.” Hang Seng, which is owned by HSBC, will implement similar changes to its parental leave policy next year.
According to Hong Kong’s Employment Ordinance, employees are eligible for 14 weeks paid maternity leave if they have been working for the same company for at least 40 weeks. Employees will get four-fifths of the average daily wage they made in the 12 months leading up to their maternity leave. Under Hong Kong law, employees can get a minimum of five days of paternity leave.
The move by HSBC comes after Standard Chartered increased their paternity and adoption leave to 20 weeks, “to foster a more family-friendly and flexible working environment.” This is in line with their existing 20-week paid maternity leave policy, which has been in place since 2017.
The Hong Kong government has also stepped up its efforts to encourage residents to start families, most notably by offering a HK$20,000 newborn baby bonus to permanent residents who have children in the next three years.
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