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Social distancing to be relaxed

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government plans to adjust the social distancing measures for restaurants based on staff and customers having been vaccinated against COVID-19 and patrons using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile application.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the statement during a press conference today, noting that Hong Kong was entering a new phase in its fight against the virus.   Under the “vaccine bubble”, the number of people allowed to be seated together at one table in restaurants will be increased from four to six, and their dine-in service can be extended from 10pm to midnight on the condition that all staff have been vaccinated and patrons use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app.   Customers using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app when entering the eatery would no longer need to fill in their personal information on a paper form.   If all the restaurant staff are fully vaccinated with both doses, plus 14 days for

Maternity leave pay scheme opens

The Labour Department today announced that the Reimbursement of Maternity Leave Pay Scheme is now open for applications from employers.   The statutory maternity leave (ML) under the Employment Ordinance has been extended from 10 weeks to 14 weeks effective from December 11, 2020.   Through the scheme, employers can apply for reimbursement of the statutory maternity leave pay (MLP) paid to employees in respect of the 11th to 14th weeks, subject to a cap of $80,000 per employee.   The department has appointed a processing agent to assist with the scheme’s implementation.   An application for MLP reimbursement must meet four requirements. Firstly, the employee concerned has been employed by the applicant and entitled to ML and MLP under the Employment Ordinance.   Secondly, the employee has taken her ML and the applicant has paid MLP for all of the 14 weeks to the employee.   Thirdly, the employee’s confinement occurred on or after December 11, 2020.   Lastly, the MLP paid to the employee for the additional four weeks has not been and will not be covered or subsidised by other government funding.   Employers, after paying employees all of the statutory MLP, may directly submit online applications through the Reimbursement Easy Portal.   Employers may also download the application form from the portal or obtain it from the department’s Labour Relations Division offices or the scheme's service centre at Unit 204, 2/F, South Island Place, 8 Wong Chuk Hang Road.   Call 2636 6353 for enquiries.
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