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Hong Kong's legislative council (Legco) passed the bill yesterday, 9 July, to extend statutory maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. 

The new measure will take effect by the end of the year. About 27,000 pregnant women will benefit annually from this update.

 Under the amendment, the government will reimburse employers on a monthly basis with the additional salary costs, capped at HK$80,000 per employee. 

The government has also updated the definition of a miscarriage so female employees who lose their babies at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy, instead of 28 weeks, are entitled to the benefit. 

The Federation of Trade Unions' Alice Mak said that her party has fought for extended maternity leave since the 1980s, and it has taken several decades to get such a bill passed.

"We will be monitoring the government on how the extension of maternity leave is implemented, as we will also keep on fighting for the rights and benefits of female employees," Mak said.