Adoption Leave in Hong Kong – 香港領養假

Adoption Leave in Hong Kong – 香港領養假

Adoption Leave in Hong Kong – 香港領養假 1400 934 Adam Hugill
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Adam Hugill discusses adoption leave and the main difference with maternity/paternity leave. While some multinational companies grant adoption leave benefits to their employees, Hong Kong has implemented no legislation to assure that adoptive parents are afforded the time off work to take care of their new family members. On the bright side, there are some positive developments about increasing maternity/paternity leave.

The event is part of the #ProtectYourChildren campaign. From 9 November – World Adoption Day – to 6 December 2020 Hugill & Ip Solicitors celebrates Adoption Awareness Month. We wish to spread awareness about issues related to the protection of minors and to raise funds to benefit the children without families and pregnant teenagers in Hong Kong.

Every contribution to Mother’s Choice counts. Our vision is to see every child in a loving family, giving hope and changing the life stories of vulnerable girls and babies.

高斯敦律師談及領養假與產假/侍產假的主要差別。儘管有跨國公司向僱員提供領養假,但香港未有實施任何政策去支持領養父母獲取足夠時間空間與新家庭成員建立感情聯繫。不過增加了產假/侍產假日數也算是個積極的發展。

此課程是宣傳#ProtectYourChildren活動的一部分。高葉律師行會由11月9日(世界領養日)至2020年12月6日慶祝世界領養月。我們希望提高大眾對保護未成年人的認識和意外懷孕的少女。

每一份捐助都足以改寫生命。我們的遠景是每個孩子都擁有一個關愛的家,為弱勢的少女和孩子燃點希望、改寫生命。

SHOW NOTES

00:24 The many differences between pregnancy and adoption – 生育和領養大不同

01:32 The situation in Hong Kong – 香港的情況

02:14 Recent developments about maternity/paternity leave – 產假/侍產假的最新發展

03:03 Still a long way to go… – 家庭友善的政策遠遠落後…

Act now!

 

We will write your Deed of Guardianship for direct donations to Mother’s Choice!

Donate a minimum of HK$4,800 from 9 November to 6 December 2020 and then book your appointment with us before 30 April 2021. Your donations can benefit your children or you may nominate a friend or someone in need via Mother’s Choice families’ network.

直接捐款到「母親的抉擇」,本行就能為您準備監護權契!

凡於2020年11月9日至2020年12月6日捐助最少港幣$4,800,即可預約在2021年4月30日前擬定監護權契,讓孩子,親友或「母親的抉擇」的盟友做好準備。

TRANSCRIPT

Adoption leave, or even wider ‘parental leave’, is commonplace is many jurisdictions, including Singapore, Japan, Australia and throughout Europe. Hong Kong does not have in place any statutory requirements or formal government guidance relating to adoption leave.

There are many factors that differentiate adoption from pregnancy. Pregnancy lasts 9 months and, in most cases, parents are aware of the expected date of birth well in advance, giving them months to prepare. The adoption process is very different. Potential adoptive parents will have been on an approved list for months, if not years – and then, almost out of the blue, they will be informed that they have been matched with a child. From the time of being matched to the time when the child arrives at home is only around one month – which is really no time at all for someone to completely turn their life upside down.

Adoptive parents face additional difficulties. At the time of being matched, the parents might not be aware of the age or gender of the child. Their child might be a baby, but more often than not, it will be a toddler or older child. Toddlers and older children will have almost certainly experienced great upheaval in their short lives and will come into the family with their own emotional and special needs. Most newly adopted children will be suspicious and distrusting of their new parents and so it is essential that the parents can dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to building a loving and trusting relationship. For working parents this will require one or both of them to take a significant amount of time off work. It is perhaps not surprising that Hong Kong has not implemented laws relating to adoption.

Adoption in Hong Kong continues to have a fairly low level of awareness and it is not something that is applicable or relevant to most families. This also means that most employers don’t receive requests for adoption leave on a regular basis. While multinational companies might have implemented their own adoption leave policies (more often than not adopted from policies operating in their home or overseas offices) other employers are forced into making ad hoc piecemeal arrangements, usual combining a mixture of exceptional paid leave intended to match maternity / paternity leave entitlements, unpaid leave, annual leave and part time working.

With a quickly declining birth rate, the Hong Kong government has become aware of the need to implement more family-friendly workplace legislation. Paternity leave is only a fairly recent development and the period of paternity leave was only increased from 3 to 5 days last year.

The Hong Kong government has passed legislation to extend the period of paid maternity leave. Maternity leave is currently only 10 weeks, 2 to 4 of which are taken before childbirth, leaving only 6 – 8 weeks after childbirth for mothers to care for and bond with their baby before returning to work. From the 11th December 2020 paid maternity leave and the corresponding protection from termination will increase to 14 weeks. While this is an improvement it still falls short of the maternity and paternity leave granted in many other jurisdictions including China and Singapore.

There is no expectation that Hong Kong will implement laws relating to adoption leave at any time in the near or even distant future. One of the purposes of our campaign with Mothers’ Choice is to raise awareness of adoption and the issues that adoptive parents face, hopefully encouraging employers to give this issue greater consideration when preparing or reviewing their HR policies.

 

「領養假」,甚至更廣爲人知的侍產假,在許多司法管轄區包括新加坡、日本、澳洲和整個歐洲都很普遍。香港沒有任何有關領養假的法定要求或正式的政府指引。

生育和領養之間有著莫大的差別。懷胎九月,大多數情況下,父母都會知道預產期,可以提前做好準備。而領養過程卻非常不同。準領養父母會被納入配對名單等候配對,等待時間可以是數月,甚至數年。然後,可以在幾乎毫無準備的情況下,突然被告知配對成功。由配對成功到迎接孩子回家大概需時一個月左右 – 對於要習慣一個完全不同的生活模式的確是一個很短的時間。

領養父母亦要面對其他考驗,例如配對成功後,有機會還未知孩子的年齡或性別。他們的孩子可能是嬰兒,但通常是幼童或年紀大一點的兒童。幼童或年紀較大的兒童大多遭逢逆境,並帶著自己的情感和認知進入家庭。大多數剛領養的孩子會對新父母懷疑和不信任,父母需花大量時間和精力去建立互信與親情。對雙職父母來說,這將需要他們雙方或其中一方從工作中抽出一定的時間。也許香港沒有實施有關領養的政策也不足為怪。

領養至今在香港仍未見普及,並未適用或關係到大多數家庭。這也意味著大多數公司不會定期收到領養假申請。有跨國公司可能已經實施了自己的領養假政策(通常不會採用在其國家或海外辦事處實施的領養假政策),而其他公司被迫做出臨時和零星安排,該安排通常結合各種特定有薪產假並有意與產假、侍產假、無薪假期、年假及兼職工作看齊。

隨著出生率大幅下降,香港政府已經意識到有必要在工作場所推動家庭友善的政策。近年才推行的侍產假從去年開始由3天增至5天。

香港政府已通過立法,延長有薪產假。目前,產假只有10星期,預產期前2至4星期開始放假,產後只有6至8星期,母親可以在重返工作之前照顧及與寶寶培養感情。2020年12月11日開始,有薪產假和相應的離職保障將增加至14星期。縱使這是一個突破,但相較於中國及新加坡等其他轄區的產假和侍產假情況仍然十分落後。

無法預期香港會在短期甚至可見的將來實施有關領養假的政策。我們與「母親的抉擇」合作活動的目的之一是希望大眾更瞭解領養和領養父母面對的困難,希望鼓勵更多公司在準備或審查其人力資源政策時對此給予更多考慮。

 

This video is for informational purposes only. Its contents do not constitute legal or professional advice.

Adam Hugill

Adam advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious legal and commercial issues, with a special emphasis on employment law in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region.

All articles by : Adam Hugill
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

For performance and security reasons we use Cloudflare
required
Google Analytics tracking code disabled/enabled
Google Fonts disabled/enabled
Google Maps disabled/enabled
video embeds (e.g. YouTube) disabled/enabled
 
View our Privacy Policy
We don't eat shark fin but our website does use cookies, mainly for analytics and provision of content from other websites. Define your Privacy Preferences and agree to our use of cookies. Privacy Policy