More aid for construction sector

June 11, 2020

The Anti-epidemic Fund will offer a one-off subsidy to employers in the construction sector who have employed casual employees on a long-term basis, the Development Bureau announced today.


The new subsidy, under the second round of the fund, aims to supplement the scope not covered by the Employment Support Scheme and strengthen support for the construction sector.


The sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the latest unemployment rate escalating to 10%.


Under the new measure, if an employer in the construction sector has made contributions for a casual employee under the Mandatory Provident Fund Industry Schemes for at least 15 days in the calendar month of March this year, the employee will be regarded as a qualified employee.


An employer may apply for a subsidy of $36,000 per qualified employee.


Applicants must undertake not to make their employees redundant for a period of six months on receipt of the subsidy and to spend the full amount of the subsidy on paying wages to their workers.


Currently, there are some 40,000 casual employees being employed on a long-term basis in the sector. The measure is expected to help about 3,500 employers and their workers tide over the current difficulties.


The Construction Industry Council will handle applications and disburse the subsidies for the Government, and will announce the details by late June.


As of yesterday, more than $3.1 billion in subsidies had been disbursed under the two rounds of the Anti-epidemic Fund to about 310,000 construction workers and about 10,000 construction-related enterprises.

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