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16. How is sickness allowance calculated? When will I be entitled to sickness allowance?

The daily rate of sickness allowance is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the average daily wages earned by an employee in the 12-month period preceding the sickness day (if only 1 sickness day is taken) or the first sickness day (if more than 1 consecutive sickness day is taken).

In calculating the average daily wages, an employer has to exclude (i) the periods for which an employee is not paid his wages or full wages, including rest day, statutory holiday, annual leave, sickness day, maternity leave, paternity leave, sick leave due to work injuries or leave taken with the agreement of the employer, and any normal working day on which the employee is not provided by the employer with work; together with (ii) the sum paid to the employee for such periods.


In general, employees are entitled to sickness allowance if:


  • the sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days (unless for any day off taken by a female employee for pregnancy check-ups, post confinement medical treatment or miscarriage);
  • the sick leave is supported by an appropriate medical certificate; and
  • they have accumulated sufficient number of paid sickness days. (Note: Paid sickness days can be accumulated up to a maximum of 120 days. It is accumulated at the rate of 2 paid sickness days for each completed month of employment under a continuous contract during the first 12 months of employment, and 4 paid sickness days per month thereafter.)


Employees are NOT be entitled to sickness allowance under the following circumstances:


  • the employee, without reasonable excuse, refuses treatment by a company doctor of a medical scheme that is recognised by the Director of Health or disregards the advice of that doctor;
  • the sickness day falls on a statutory holiday on which the employee is entitled to holiday pay; or
  • compensation is payable under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance.


Offences and Penalties


Employers who without reasonable excuse fail to pay sickness allowance to employees are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of $50,000.