Skip to content

Application for the 2nd tranche is closed

The application for the second tranche of Employment Support Scheme is closed. If you have applied and wish to check the status of your application, please click here. For other enquiries, please email to enquiry@employmentsupport.hk or call 1836-122 during service hours.


Employment Support Scheme

retain employees who may otherwise be made redundant

The HKSAR Government has launched the “Employment Support Scheme” (ESS) under the second round of the “Anti-epidemic Fund” to provide time-limited financial support to employers to retain employees who may otherwise be made redundant.

The wage subsidies provided to eligible employers under ESS are disbursed in two tranches: the first tranche of subsidies are used for paying wages of employees from June to August 2020; and the second tranche for paying wages of employees from September to November 2020. The ESS Secretariat has generally completed processing the applications and disbursed the first tranche of subsidies, and will accept applications for the second tranche of wage subsidies starting from 31 August until 13 September 2020.

Employers participating in ESS are required to undertake and warrant that they will –
(1) not implement redundancies during the subsidy period; and
(2) spend all the wage subsidies on paying wages to their employees.

Besides, eligible self-employed persons who did not receive the one-off lump-sum subsidy of $7,500 under the first tranche of ESS can also make applications from 31 August to 13 September 2020.

The Second Tranche of ESS

Eligibility

Employers

Employers participating in Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Schemes

  • Generally speaking, with the exception of ineligible employers (see below), employers who have been participating in MPF schemes (including Master Trust Schemes and Industry Schemes) are eligible to apply for wage subsidies in respect of the following categories of employees:
    1. “regular employees”1 under the Master Trust Schemes and Industry Schemes for whom MPF mandatory contributions have been made by their employers; and
    2. employees aged 65 or above under the Master Trust Schemes and Industry Schemes.

    It should be noted that employers cannot apply for wage subsidies in respect of “casual employees”2 under the Master Trust Schemes and Industry Schemes.
  • In order to be eligible for the second tranche3, the MPF accounts of employers and employees should have been set up on or before 31 March 2020(i.e. cannot be backdated to that date or any earlier dates). In other words, employers and employees with MPF accounts set up on or after 1 April 2020 are not eligible.
  • A snapshot of individual employer’s MPF contribution data for December 2019 to March 2020 was taken on 7 May 2020, which will be used for calculating wage subsidies. In other words, employers may only apply for wage subsidies in respect of employees for whom default mandatory contributions (excluding surcharge) have been settled on or before 7 May 2020.

  • 1 “Regular employees” are employees who are at least 18 but under 65 years of age and have been employed in any industry for a continuous period of 60 days or more.
  • 2 “Casual employees” refer to employees who are at least 18 but under 65 years of age, and are employed in the construction industry or the catering industry on a day-to-day basis, or for a fixed period of less than 60 days.
  • 3 Referring to the subsidies for September to November 2020 mentioned below.


Employers who have set up MPF-exempted Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) Schemes

  • With the exception of ineligible employers (see below), employers who have set up MPF-exempted ORSO schemes (including ORSO registered schemes and ORSO exempted schemes) for their employees can apply for subsidies under ESS in respect of those employees who are members of these schemes. The employees covered in the relevant application should have become members of the relevant ORSO schemes on or before 31 March 2020(i.e. cannot be backdated to that date or any earlier dates).


Employers not eligible for ESS (covering employers of MPF and ORSO Schemes)

  • The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, the Legislative Council of the HKSAR, the Judiciary of the HKSAR
  • The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the HKSAR, the Hong Kong Garrison of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army
  • Offices of other governments and international organisations
  • Specified statutory bodies and corporations
  • Specified public organisations, government-owned companies or subvented organisations

(The aforementioned types of employers are set out in the exclusion list)


  • Employers cannot apply for subsidies under ESS in respect of the employees who have applied for the Catering Business (Social Distancing) Subsidy Scheme in respect of licensed premises (including applications being processed or approved).
  • The following categories of employers will receive notification letters from the relevant government departments which state that they cannot apply for subsidies under ESS in respect of the following types of employees whose wages are subsidised by the Government:
    1. employees in government-funded organisations whose wages are fully funded by the Government; and
    2. dedicated employees engaged by government outsourced service contractors/consultants to implement or deliver these contracts.


Self-employed Persons
  • “Self-employed persons (SEPs)”, who have an “MPF SEP account” created on or before 31 March 2020 (i.e. cannot be backdated to that date or any earlier dates), which has not been terminated as of that date, and did not receive the one-off lump-sum subsidy of $7,500 under the first tranche of ESS can apply for a one-off lump-sum subsidy in the second tranche.
  • Please note that in accordance with the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap 485), an “SEP” is a person who earns income from the production of or trade in goods or services in a capacity other than an employee. An “MPF SEP account” is opened by a person who has enrolled himself/herself in an MPF scheme as an “SEP”4. Generally, MPF contribution records of SEPs would show descriptions such as an “SEP” account. An MPF account opened in the capacity of an “employee” or a “personal MPF account” in any form is not eligible for ESS.
  • SEPs eligible for ESS with more than one MPF account can only apply for the one-off lump-sum subsidy of $7,500 once under ESS.


Self-employed Persons not eligible for ESS

  • Persons who have received the one-off subsidy of $7,500 for self-employed persons in the first tranche of ESS.
  • Freelancers who provide school bus services as school bus drivers, school private light bus drivers and escorts (commonly known as “nannies”) and have applied for the subsidy under the “School Bus Service Providers Subsidy Scheme” of the Education Bureau5.
  • Freelancers who are tour service coach drivers and have applied for the subsidy under “Tour Service Coach Drivers (Mainly Serving Tourists) Support Scheme” of Tourism Commission6.

  • 4 Any person who is an SEP at least 18 but under 65 years of age has the legal obligation to enroll himself/herself into an MPF scheme.
  • 5 Except proprietors of a fleet or vehicle who are also drivers/escorts; if they have opened “self-employed persons MPF accounts”, they can apply for the ESS subsidy as self-employed persons and, at the same time, the subsidy under the “School Bus Service Providers Subsidy Scheme”.
  • 6 Except proprietors of a fleet/vehicle who are also drivers; if they have opened “self-employed persons MPF accounts”, they can apply for the ESS subsidy as self-employed persons and, at the same time, the subsidy under the “Tour Service Coach Drivers (Mainly Serving Tourists) Support Scheme”.


Wage Subsidies and Calculation

Employers participating in MPF schemes

Employers applying for the second tranche of wage subsidies under ESS can choose any one month between December 2019 and March 2020 as the “specified month”. Employers who applied for the first tranche of subsidies may choose another month as the “specified month” in the second tranche. The ESS Processing Agent will calculate the amount of wage subsidies on the basis of the number of employees and their “relevant income”7 / wages in the “specified month” as shown on the MPF record certificates of the applicants provided by the MPF trustees:

  • “Regular employees” aged between 18 and 64
    The amount of wage subsidies will be calculated based on 50% of the actual wages paid to each “regular employee” aged 18-64 in the “specified month”, with a wage cap at $18,000 per month. The maximum wage subsidy per employee is $9,000 per month.
  • Employees aged 65 or above with MPF accounts
    The second tranche of the ESS covers employees aged 65 or above who have MPF accounts even if employers have not made any voluntary contributions for such employees. The calculation of wage subsidies is as follows:
    • If information on the wages of employees aged 65 or above is shown on the employer’s MPF record certificate, the amount of wage subsidies will be calculated based on 50% of the wages actually paid to the relevant employees in the “specified month”, with a wage cap at $18,000 per month per employee. The maximum wage subsidy per employee is $9,000 per month.
    • If information on the voluntary MPF contribution for employees aged 65 or above (but not their wages) is shown on the employer’s MPF record certificate, the amount of wage subsidies will be calculated by multiplying the amount of the employer’s voluntary contributions for the relevant employees in the “specified month” by 10 times, with a cap at $9,000 per month per employee.
    • If information on the employment of employees aged 65 or above (but not their wages nor MPF contributions made for them by the employers) is shown on the employer’s MPF record certificate, the amount of wage subsidies will be calculated based on the number of such employees aged 65 or above engaged in the “specified month”, with a subsidy of $5,000 per employee per month.
    • If the amount of wage subsidy for any of the employees aged 65 or above calculated based wages or voluntary contributions on the employer’s MPF record certificate is below $5,000 per month, the employers may receive a wage subsidy of $5,000 for each of such employees per month.

If an employer has made MPF contributions for both “regular employees” aged 18-64 and employees aged 65 or above with MPF accounts, the employer must choose the same “specified month” for calculating wage subsidies in respect of all employees.

Please note that green minibus and local ferry operators who have applied for ESS wage subsidies in respect of their employees aged 65 or above are not allowed to apply, in respect of the same employees, for subsidies under the subsidy scheme of the Transport Department specifically designed for green minibus and local ferry operators hiring employees aged 65 or above.


  • 7 “Relevant income” includes wages, allowances, commissions and bonuses, etc., but does not include non-pecuniary benefits, and severance payment and long service payment under the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57). For details, please refer to the guidelines on “relevant income” issued by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority.


Employers who have set up MPF-exempted Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) Schemes

Employers applying for the second tranche of wage subsidy may choose any one month from December 2019 to March 2020 as the “specified month”. The amount of wage subsidies will be calculated based on 50% of the actual wages paid to each employee in the “specified month”, with a wage cap at $18,000 per month. The maximum wage subsidy per employee is $9,000 per month. The employers who have received the first tranche of subsidy may choose the “specified month” again at the time of making applications for the second tranche of subsidy.



Self-employed persons

Each eligible self-employed person will be granted a one-off lump-sum subsidy of $7,500. It should be noted that self-employed persons who have received the one-off lump-sum subsidy in the first tranche of the scheme cannot make application again in the second tranche.



Employers with some but not all employees fully funded by the Government and who have received notification letters from the relevant government departments

Employers can only apply for subsidies in respect of employees whose wages are not fully funded by the government, and for whom they have made MPF contributions or set up MPF-exempted ORSO Schemes. The aforementioned wage subsidies will be calculated on the basis of the number and actual wages of these eligible employees. Regarding the applications for the second tranche of subsidy, the ESS Secretariat has, through the departments concerned, reminded such government-funded organisations and government outsourced service contractors/consultants of the above eligibility criteria in writing.



Application Period and Arrangements for Disbursement of Subsidies

Employers who have been participating in MPF and/or who have set up MPF-exempted ORSO Schemes

Online applications for the second tranche of wage subsidies will be accepted from 31 August to 13 September 2020. Employers who have applied for the first tranche of wage subsidies (whether the application is successful or not) must submit a new application.

It is expected that most eligible employers who have provided accurate and complete information will receive the wage subsidies in three to four weeks after application, which can subsidise their payment of employee’s wages from September to November 2020. For applications involving ORSO schemes, or employers with some but not all employees fully funded by the Government and have received notification letters from the relevant government departments, a longer processing time may be required.

For employers who are in breach of their undertakings during the first subsidy period (i.e. failure to use all the wage subsidies received for a particular month to pay the wages of the employees in the same month and/or the total number of employees on the payroll in any one month of the subsidy period is less than the “committed headcount of paid employees”8)and have to return the unspent balance of the subsidy and/or pay a penalty to the Government. If the applications for the second tranche from such employers have been approved, the Government will deduct the relevant amount directly from the subsidies of the second tranche to the employers concerned. A longer processing time may be required for their applications for the second tranche of subsidies.


  • 8 Meaning the total number of paid and unpaid employees in March 2020.



Self-employed Persons

Online application for eligible self-employed persons will be accepted from 31 August to 13 September 2020, and the one-off lump sum subsidy will generally be disbursed in three to four weeks after application to the eligible self-employed persons who have provided accurate and completed information.


Application Method and Information Required

Application Method and Information Required


Employers who have received subsidies in the first tranche of ESS

Employers participating in MPF schemes
  • The application number and password that applicants received when applying for the first tranche of subsidies are also applicable to the second tranche application. Applicants can type in the application number, password and mobile phone number of the contact person for the first tranche to logon to the application webpage to apply for the second tranche. The application webpage will automatically display information submitted for the first tranche of application. Applicants should check if all the information therein is correct.
  • If applicants choose the same “specified month” as that of the first tranche in their application for the second tranche of subsides, they do not need to input the MPF scheme related information or upload the documents again. If necessary, applicants are allowed to change some of the relevant information (e.g. adding MPF Scheme Registration Number/ Participation Number, e-mail address or mobile phone number) in the online application form. For details, please refer to the application website and the online application form.
  • If applicants choose a “specified month” which is different from that of the first tranche when applying for the second tranche of subsides, they should follow the instructions in the online application form to upload documents and/or update the information (e.g. providing additional MPF account information) where necessary.
  • Applicants applying for the second tranche of wage subsidies are not allowed to change their bank account information in the online application form. If applicants need to amend the information of the bank account information due to special circumstances, they should login to the Employment Support Scheme Application Service Portal according to the instructions in the online application form, and upload the relevant bank statement or other related supporting documents for verification and follow up.
  • (Only applicable to employers with some but not all employees fully funded by the Government and have received notification letters from the relevant government departments) If applicants decide to choose the same “specified month” as the first tranche, they do not need to input the information of the employees in the “specified month” again. If applicants choose a “specified month” which is different from that of the first tranche, then applicants are required to use the “designated form” to input and upload the information of eligible employees (i.e. employees whose wages are not fully funded by the Government), including the “relevant income” or wages and the MPF contributions paid by the applicants to each eligible employee in the new “specified month”. In addition, applicants (whether there is a change of the “specified month” or not) are also required to input the “relevant income” or wages and the employer’s MPF contributions in June and July 2020 for the eligible employees in the “designated form” for submission when applying for the second tranche of subsidies. Information on the “relative income” or wages of the employees and the employer’s MPF contributions in August 2020 should also be submitted to the Employment Support Scheme Application Service Portal on or before 30 September 2020 in order to assess whether the applicant has breached any conditions in the undertaking.
  • Applications will be processed only upon completion of the online application procedures.


Employers who have set up MPF-exempted Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) Schemes
  • The application number and password that applicants received when applying for the first tranche of subsidies are also applicable to the second tranche application. Applicants can type in the application number, password and mobile phone number to logon to the application webpage to apply for the second tranche. The application webpage will then display information submitted for the first tranche of application. Applicants should check if all the information therein is correct.
  • If applicants choose the same “specified month” as that of the first tranche in their application for the second tranche of subsides, they do not need to input ORSO Scheme related information or upload the documents again. If necessary, applicants are allowed to change some of the relevant information (e.g. e-mail address or mobile phone number) in the online application form. For details, please refer to the application website and the online application form.
  • If applicants choose a “specified month” which is different from that of the first tranche when applying for the second tranche of subsides, they should follow the instructions in the online application form to upload documents or update the relevant information (e.g. providing additional ORSO Scheme account information) where necessary.
  • Applicants applying for the second tranche of wage subsidies are not allowed to change their bank account information in the online application form. If applicants need to amend the bank account information due to special circumstances, they should login to the Employment Support Scheme Application Service Portal according to the instructions in the online application form, and upload the relevant bank statement or other related supporting documents for verification and follow up.
  • In addition, applicants (whether there is a change of the “specified month” or not) are also required to input the actual wages in June and July 2020 for the eligible employees in the “designated form” for submission when applying for the second tranche of subsidies. Information on the actual wages of the employees in August 2020 should also be submitted to the Employment Support Scheme Application Service Portal on or before 30 September 2020 in order to assess whether the applicant has breached any conditions in the undertaking.
  • Applications will be processed only upon completion of the online application procedures.


Employers who make a first-time application in the second tranche of ESS/ Employers who have not received wage subsidies in the first tranche

Employers who have not applied for ESS in the first tranche, and employers who applied but did not receive wage subsidies in the first tranche are required to complete online application forms and upload the necessary supporting documents during the application period of the second tranche, and submit their application forms online. Applications will be processed only upon completion of the online application procedures.

Information required and documents to be uploaded include:

Employers participating in MPF schemes

Information required

  • Name and address of applicant (company/corporation/organisation/natural person)
  • Business Registration Number or the registration of other organisations (e.g. Company Registration Number, registration number under the Societies Ordinance or Education Ordinance, non-governmental organization code assigned by the Social Welfare Department, etc.) (the name of the applicant must tally with the information on the Business Registration Certificates or the registration information of other organisations, except for natural person)
  • Name(s) of all MPF Scheme(s) participated under the name of the applicant since 1 December 2019, the employer’s registration / participation number(s), and name(s) of the MPF trustee(s) (the name of the applicant must tally with the record of the MPF trustee(s))
  • The “specified month” for the calculation of wage subsidies
  • Information of the Hong Kong bank account for receiving wage subsidies (including name of bank, name of bank account holder and bank account number) (the applicant’s name must be the same as that of the bank account holder)
  • Name, e-mail address and mobile phone number of the representative authorised by the applicant for submitting the application

Documents to be uploaded/ submitted by other specified means

  • Scanned copies of the applicant’s bank account number of the applicant and bank statement/ passbook/ cheque book for receiving wage subsidies (the applicant’s name must be the same as that of the bank account holder)
  • Scanned copies of any documents (e.g. MPF member benefit statements) issued by the MPF trustees which show all the MPF Schemes participated by the applicant from 1 December 2019 to 31 March 2020. The documents must clearly indicate the name(s) of the MPF trustee(s), the names of the MPF Scheme(s), and the scheme registration/participation number(s) of the employer. If the applicant has changed its MPF trustee, and/or MPF scheme, registration/participation number on or after 1 April 2020, the applicant should complete the relevant details in the appropriate section of the online application form, and upload the relevant MPF supporting documents (the name of the applicant must tally with the record of the MPF trustee(s)
  • Scanned copies of the applicant’s Business Registration Certificates or other documents of the registration of other organisations (the name of the applicant must tally with the information on the Business Registration Certificates or the registration information of other organisations)
  • (Only applicable to employers with some but not all employees fully funded by the Government and have received notification letters from the relevant Government departments, including applicants who only apply for the second tranche or have changed the “specified month”) Employers cannot apply for wage subsidies in respect of employees whose salaries are fully subsidised by the Government. Employers must use the “designated form” to fill in the information of eligible employees (i.e. employees whose wages are not fully funded by the Government in March 2020 as well as the wages and MPF contributions made to each eligible employee in the “specified month”), including the “relevant income” or wages of and the MPF contribution made by the employer to each eligible employee in the “specified month”. After submitting their applications, employers will receive the “designated form” by email from the ESS Processing Agent within 5 working days and they must upload the completed “designated form” to the Employment Support Scheme Application Service Portal within 5 working days.


Employers who have set up MPF-exempted ORSO schemes

Information required

  • Name and address of applicant (company/corporation/organisation/natural person)
  • Business Registration Number or the registration of other organisations (e.g. Company Registration Number, registration number under the Societies Ordinance or Education Ordinance, non-governmental organization code assigned by the Social Welfare Department, etc.) (the name of the applicant must tally with the information on the Business Registration Certificates or the registration information of other organisations, except for natural person)
  • Name(s) of the ORSO Scheme(s), the MPF exemption number(s) and the ORSO registration/exemption number(s)
  • The “specified month” for the calculation of wage subsidies
  • The number of eligible employees in March 2020 (For employers with employees whose wages are fully funded by the Government and have received notification letters from the relevant government departments, eligible employees are those whose wages are not fully funded by the Government.)
  • Information of the Hong Kong bank account for receiving wage subsidies (including name of bank, name of bank account holder and bank account number) (the applicant’s name must be the same as that of the bank account holder)
  • Name, e-mail address and mobile phone number of the representative authorised by the applicant for submitting the application

Documents to be uploaded/ submitted by other specified means

  • Scanned copies of the applicant’s bank account number of the applicant and bank statement/ passbook/ cheque book for receiving wage subsidies (the applicant’s name must be the same as that of the bank account holder)
  • A scanned copy of the exemption certificate issued by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority in accordance with section 5 of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance
  • A completed “designated form” in the application form with the information of eligible employees, including the actual wages of each employee in the “specified month”. (For employers with employees whose wages are fully funded by the Government and have received notification letters from the relevant government departments, eligible employees are those whose wages are not fully funded by the Government.)
  • Scanned copies of the applicant’s Business Registration Certificates or other documents of the registration of other organisations (the name of the applicant must tally with the information on the Business Registration Certificates or the registration information of other organisations)


Self-employed Persons (SEPs)

Information required

  • Name, Identity Card number, e-mail address and mobile phone number of the applicant
  • Name of the MPF trustee (the name of the SEPs must be the same as the name shown on the records of the MPF trustee)
  • Name of the MPF Scheme (any one of the MPF schemes of the applicant) (the name of the applicant must tally with the record of the MPF trustee)
  • Information of the Hong Kong bank account for receiving subsidies (including name of bank, name of bank account holder and bank account number) (the applicant’s name must be the same as that of the bank account holder)

It should be noted that the applicant should use a dedicated “MPF SEP account” to apply for the one-off lump sum subsidy under ESS. An MPF account opened in the capacity of an “employee” or a “personal MPF account” in any form is not eligible.


Documents to be uploaded/ submitted by other specified means

  • Scanned copies of the applicant’s bank account number of the applicant and bank statement/ passbook/ cheque book for receiving subsidies (the applicant’s name must be the same as that of the bank account holder)
  • Scanned copy of any document issued by the MPF trustees related to the “MPF SEP account” of the applicant. The document must clearly indicate the name of the MPF trustee, the name of the MPF scheme, and the registration/participation number of the SEP.

Obligations

Eligible employers participating in ESS are required to undertake and warrant that they will –
(1) not implement redundancies during the subsidy period; and
(2) spend all the wage subsidies on paying wages to their employees.

Penalty

All employers applying for wage subsidies are required to undertake and guarantee not to make redundancies during the subsidy period and to spend all wages on paying wages of their employees.

The total number of employees on the payroll (excluding those on no-pay leave) in any one month during the subsidy period of the second tranche (September to November 2020) should not be less than the “committed headcount of paid employees” (meaning the total number of paid and unpaid employees in March 2020). The employers should also, in accordance with the undertaking, spend all the wage subsidies for a particular month on paying wages to the employees in the same month.

If an employer fails to use all the subsidies received for a particular month to pay the wages of his/her employees in the same month during the subsidy period of the second tranche, the Government will claw back the unspent balance of the subsidy for that month. The calculation is as below:

Subsidies to be clawed back by the Government ($) = Subsidies received for a particular month ($) Actual payroll expenses for a particular month ($)

Furthermore, if the total number of employees on the payroll (excluding those on no-pay leave) in any one month of the subsidy period of the second tranche is less than the “committed headcount of paid employees”, the employer will have to pay a penalty to the Government. The penalty for a particular month during the subsidy period will be calculated as below:

Subsidies received for a particular month ($)
x
Headcount reduction percentage for a particular month (%)
x
Penalty percentage (%)
Headcount reduction
percentage
for a particular month (%)
=
Committed headcount
of paid employees
Total no. of paid employees
in a particular month

over Committed headcount of paid employees
x
100%

The penalty percentage is determined by the employer’s “committed headcount of paid employees”. Details are set out below:

Committed headcount of paid employees Penalty Percentage
Less than 10 10%
10 - 49 20%
50 - 99 40%
100 - 499 60%
500 or more 80%

Please note that if an employer has made MPF contributions/ set up ORSO Scheme(s) for new employees in March 2020 and the relevant information is shown in their MPF record certificates/ payroll records of employers who have set up ORSO Scheme(s), the employees concerned will be counted towards the “committed headcount of paid employees” which provides the basis for comparison with the total number of paid employees during the subsidy period (September to November 2020). Similarly, if information relating to the employer’s MPF contributions for new employees is shown in the MPF record certificates for any one month during the subsidy period, the employees concerned will be counted towards the total number of paid employees for that month. For employers who have set up ORSO Scheme(s), if an applicant has set up ORSO Scheme(s) for and paid any new employees in any one month of the subsidy period and such information is shown on the payroll records of that month, the relevant employees will be counted towards the total number of employees in that month.

Regarding employees with MPF accounts aged 65 or above, employers who have received subsidies should provide information on the wages of employees aged 65 or above in their return of remittance statements for their MPF contributions to the trustees during the subsidy period (September to November 2020), so as to prove that wages have been paid to the relevant employees. Otherwise, the employees concerned will not be counted towards the total number of paid employees for a particular month.

The above penalty mechanism is also applicable to employers who have received wage subsidies in the first tranche of ESS. The Government will impose a penalty on employers who breach the undertakings, and deduct the relevant amount directly from the subsidies of the second tranche (if approved) to the employers concerned.


In addition to the above penalty:

For employers who have received the first tranche of subsidies and participate in the second tranche, the Government reserves the right to reject an employer's application for the second tranche of wage subsidies if the Secretariat considers that the magnitude of “redundancies made” by the employer in its company/organisation during the subsidy period of the first tranche (i.e. from June to August 2020) was substantial, and the employer concerned fails to prove to the satisfaction of the Secretariat its intention to employ persons to replace those being laid off and/or re-employ those who have been laid off, and/or there is no other reasonable explanations provided for the "redundancies made” by it; and

the Government reserves the right to claw back the second tranche of wage subsidies disbursed to an employer (in full or in part) if the Secretariat considers that the magnitude of “redundancies made” by the employer in its company/organisation during the subsidy period of the second tranche (i.e. from September to November 2020) was substantial, and the employer concerned fails to prove to the satisfaction of the Secretariat its intention to employ persons to replace those being laid off and/or re-employ those who have been laid off, or there is no other reasonable explanations provided for the "redundancies made” by it.


Auditing and Monitoring Mechanisms

Auditing and Monitoring Mechanisms

Appropriate monitoring and auditing mechanisms are in place under ESS. During and after the vetting of applications, the ESS Secretariat and its Processing Agent will vet and conduct sample verification of the information submitted by the employers, and conduct on-site checking at those employers’ organisations.

Furthermore, the Government will adopt a transparent approach to enable monitoring by members of the public and employees concerned. The ESS Secretariat has uploaded onto the ESS website the list of employers who have received subsidies in the first tranche of ESS, the amount of wage subsidies received and their “committed headcount of paid employees”. As such, employees concerned and members of the public will be informed of the employer's receipt of subsidy. The Secretariat will continue to publish on the website the list of employers who have received subsidies in the second tranche of ESS, the amount of wage subsidies received and their “committed headcount of paid employees”.

Should an employer be found to have abused or violated the conditions of ESS, the employees concerned or members of the public may report to the relevant authorities. The ESS Secretariat and its Processing Agent will earnestly follow up on all reports and complaints, including conducting on-site checking, reviewing the eligibility of the concerned employers, the authenticity of the information submitted and the amount of subsidies received, as well as their record of MPF contributions provided by trustees. The Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office has set up a review panel to monitor the progress of cases being handled, as well as to handle and review special cases.

For enquiries relating to provisions under the Employment Ordinance or conditions of employment pertaining to labour disputes, please contact the Labour Relations Division (LRD) of the Labour Department:

Email: enquiry@labour.gov.hk

Branch offices of LRD: https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/tele/lr1.htm

Enquiry hotline: 2717-1771 (the hotline is operated by 1823)


Legal Liability

Applicants must provide true, complete and accurate information when making the applications, otherwise, the relevant applications may be rendered invalid, rejected and/or disqualified. Any person who makes false statement, misinterprets or conceals the facts, or furnishes false or misleading documents or information in an attempt to deceive the Government and/or its appointed agencies is a criminal offence and could be subject to criminal prosecution.


Enquiries

If you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact us.

Telephone hotline: 1836-122

Service hours of hotline:

  • Before or after application period:
    Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm
  • During application period (31 August to 13 September 2020):
    31 August to 9 September Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 9 am to 6 pm
    10 September to 12 September 9 am to 8 pm
    13 September 9 am to 0:30 am of the following/next day

Email: enquiry@employmentsupport.hk

Online enquiry: Please click here and type in your application number and password.


If you have further enquiries, you may call our hotline to make an appointment to visit our Help Desk as follow -

  • Room 1301, AT Tower, 180 Electric Road, North Point, Hong Kong Island

Service Hours of Help Desk:

  • Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), 9 am to 6 pm

Employment Support Scheme Help Desk will be closed starting from 28 November 2020.



Remarks: The information above is for reference only and is not a comprehensive representation of all ESS terms and requirements. All requirements under the ESS are subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme.







BACK TO TOP