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Hong Kong mulls extended maternity leave to boost birth rates

Fathers will also be granted longer paternity leave from 3 days to 5 days

(Photo from Pixabay)

(Photo from Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The government of Hong Kong will implement measures to help boost birth rates including extended paternity leave for males and maternity leave for females, Labour and Welfare Bureau said in an online blog post on Sunday.

Providing child-rearing assistance for parents will become top on the agency's priority policies, said Secretary Law Chi-kwong (羅致光) of Labour and Welfare Bureau in the article, adding that the government will work to remove hurdles to having kids while offering more incentives, reported Liberty Times.

According to a report by Hong Kong's Apple Daily, the government plans to increase paternity leave for fathers from 3 days to 5 days, a measure expected to take effect around the Chinese New Year in 2019. A proposal to extend paid maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14 weeks will also be submitted to Labour Advisory Board of Hong Kong.

Other measures aimed to relieve childbearing burden on parents include more sound daycare services and subsidies for employers supporting government's incentives to boost birth rates, a policy modeled on Singapore, Liberty Times wrote.

The fertility rate for Hong Kong dropped to 1.19 in 2017, the fourth lowest in a survey of 224 countries or areas released by CIA World Factbook, following Singapore, Macau, and Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-07-25 10:38 GMT+08:00