No Paternity Leave in Hong Kong. Very International…

Me and The Wife Yesterday


Seeing as Hong Kong trades on being ‘international’ then it may be a good idea to have ‘international’ standards. I hope I don’t sound like the myriad of other tedious ‘’have you ever noticed…’’ observational style blogs when I write this BUT have you ever noticed that men get zero paternity leave in Hong Kong? That’s right, not one pitiful day off work when your child is born. You have to take it out of your annual leave. Your holiday, meaning the two weeks you spend with a sprog can result in no holiday for an entire 12 months. Other ‘international’ destinations have basic laws that allow men to spend, horror of horrors, two weeks with pay in the company of their new born. Some countries, the Swedes for example, throw a paid month at the man and the Aussies get two weeks unpaid which is a kind of a halfway house but none the less some acknowledgement that a man has needs. America, Europe, Japan and Australia show that major economies are developed enough to be ‘civilised’. Alas Hong Kong is just an economy but socially underdeveloped. How can Hong Kong be taken seriously if it continues to play hardball with basic human rights. This is a problem that Hong Kong needs to face up to and is a barometer of the way it is regressing back into a Chinese mindset. I doubt the concept of paternity leave has ever entered the Chinese psyche as a concept until very recently so it will take a while for any real changes to formulate. I estimate there will be some shift in laws around 2087 judging by my experience of this ‘dynamic’ society. So let us ponder why Hong Kong cannot attract experienced and desirable overseas leaders in other field apart from commerce.

The reasons are simple, money aside, there are more cons than pros in terms of rights, lifestyle and environment conditions when it comes to living on this rock. OK, OK, single or young couple? Hong Kong can tick all the right boxes, but try and move on from a mid-20′s nirvana and then things become a little more sticky. Past this daydream there are fights to get decent healthcare, clean air, education, space and out-the-box thinking. However if getting pissed, buying clothes and eating out everyday is your bag then this is a Mecca. There are pluses and minuses with every city but right now the idea of being poorer but with some semblance of a life rather than wealthy but with no rights or redress is very tempting. I’m even thinking of jacking it all in and moving back to the UK (it’ll never happen) or Singapore (tempting). If you take me as an example of an experienced expat who can knock out brilliant handbags and brought over here to do that very thing and now, month 9, I am thinking of throwing in the towel not because Hong Kong is shit per se but because the important things in life, things money cannot buy, are not available here. Yes, we are preggers by the way

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