The Authorities has introduced that the appliance for the second tranche of the Employment Assist Scheme (“ESS”) is about to open on 31 August 2020 till 13 September 2020 (“Utility Interval”). Employers who want to apply for ESS aid should submit a brand new software for the second tranche.
Self-employed people who’ve already acquired a one-off lump sum subsidy within the first tranche will be unable to use for the second tranche of the ESS.
What’s the subsidy interval below the second tranche?
The subsidy interval below the second tranche is September to November 2020 (“Subsidy Interval”).
What are the eligibility standards?
The eligibility necessities stay the identical as the primary tranche i.e. it’s accessible for all “common workers” (i.e. workers aged 18 to 64 who’ve been employed for a steady interval of 60 days or extra) and all workers aged 65 or above, who arrange MPF accounts or ORSO schemes on or earlier than 31 March 2020, with the exclusion of sure ineligible employers (for instance, the Authorities and statutory our bodies).
What’s the quantity of subsidy?
The extent of the subsidies stays the identical: 50% of precise wages within the “specified month”, capped at HK$18,000 per worker monthly i.e. the utmost subsidy per worker monthly is HK$9,000. The subsidies will cowl three months, from September to November 2020. Below the second tranche, the Authorities has made relaxations for workers aged 65 or above. If the quantity of wage subsidy for workers aged 65 or above is beneath HK$5,000 monthly, the employers could obtain a wage subsidy of HK$5,000 for every of such workers monthly.
What’s the specified month?
An employer could choose a “specified month” (a month between December 2019 to March 2020 which is used as the premise of calculation) for the second tranche of the subsidy.
What are the undertakings an employer is required to offer?
As with the primary tranche, employers collaborating within the second tranche of the ESS are required to undertake that they’ll –
- not implement redundancies in the course of the Subsidy Interval. Subsequently, the overall variety of workers on the payroll (the staff who’re on no-pay depart should not included) in anyone month in the course of the Subsidy Interval shouldn’t be lower than the overall variety of paid and unpaid workers in March 2020; and
- spend all of the wage subsidies on paying wages to their workers in the identical month.
What are the penalties concerned?
- Discount within the headcount If the overall variety of workers on the payroll (excluding these on no-pay depart) in anyone month of the Subsidy Interval is lower than the dedicated headcount of paid workers, the employer should pay a penalty to the Authorities. The penalty calculation for a specific month is identical because the calculation below the primary tranche and could be accessed here. If an employer has made MPF contributions or arrange ORSO Schemes for brand new workers in March 2020, the staff involved shall be counted in the direction of the dedicated headcount of the paid worker.
- Failure to make use of the wage subsidiesIf an employer fails to make use of all of the subsidies acquired for a specific month to pay the wages of the staff in the identical month in the course of the Subsidy Interval, the Authorities will claw again the unspent stability of the subsidy for that month. The calculation of the penalty is identical as the primary tranche and could be accessed here.
As well as, the Authorities has reserved the suitable to reject an employer’s software for the second tranche of wage subsidies and/or claw again the primary or second tranche of wage subsidies (in full or partly) if the ESS Secretariat considers that:
- the magnitude of redundancies made by the employer in the course of the subsidy interval of the primary tranche (i.e. from June to August 2020) was substantial; and
- the employer fails to show its intention to make use of individuals to exchange these being laid off and/or re-employ those that have been laid off, and/or there isn’t any different affordable explanations supplied for the “redundancies made” by it.
What’s the legal responsibility for unfaithful and inaccurate info?
The data supplied whereas making the appliance should be true, full, and correct, failing which, the related functions could also be rendered invalid, rejected and/or disqualified. Any one who makes false assertion, misinterprets, or conceals the information, or furnishes false or deceptive paperwork or info in an try to deceive the Authorities and/or its appointed businesses commits a felony offence and might be topic to felony prosecution.
Are there any additional proposed adjustments below the second tranche?
- The Authorities will search undertakings from main property administration corporations to offer again an equal of 80% of the subsidies they obtain to house owners and house owners’ associations that interact their providers,
- PARKnSHOP and Wellcome can be required to offer reductions to the underprivileged and to donate to NGOs in the course of the subsidy interval the second tranche.