Job aid scheme opens May 25

May 12, 2020

(To watch the full media briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government today unveiled details concerning the latest arrangements for the Employment Support Scheme (ESS), which employers and self-employed people will be able to apply online for starting from May 25.


Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong explained at a press briefing that the ESS, with a total commitment of $81 billion under the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund, aims to provide time-limited financial support to employers to retain their employees.


He said: “We announced the intention of doing this scheme and the broad parameters in early April.


“By now it's only about a month's time to iron out all the details and to deal with the complications of all the variations in practice, different types of schemes, different types of industries and different types of employer-employee relationship.


“I think it is already the best we can do to have the money to be handed out before the end of June.”


Dr Law also responded to a question on how the scheme can prevent employees from being forced to take no-paid leave as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.


“We go back to the criteria that the employers receiving the subsidy have to comply with.


“The rule is, firstly, they have to spend all the money on the salary of their staff. And secondly, the number of people who receive pay in June, July and August, cannot be less than the number of employees in March - no matter if they were paid or not paid at all in March.


“So, the goal is to reduce the possibility that people are receiving no pay at all in June, July, and August.”


Applications for the first tranche of the scheme will take place from May 25 to June 14.


For enquiries about the scheme, call the hotline at 183 6122 or send an email starting from 9am on May 13.

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