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The Hong Kong government proposed on Monday to extend maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14 weeks and increase the cap on the additional four weeks' maternity leave pay from HK$36,822 to HK$80,000.

The proposed Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 will be discussed during the second reading debate at the Legislative Council on 24 June.

The government spokesperson cited the 2018 statistics — more than 99% of female employees in Hong Kong earn a monthly wage of HK$100,000 or below — and explained that the new cap amount is necessary to support the Hong Kong female workforce.

The government also plans to implement the terms before the end of 2020, a year earlier than the original proposal. 

“The government will explore the feasibility of earlier implementation of the amendment ordinance and consult the Labour Advisory Board accordingly,” the spokesman said.