- The Employment Assist Scheme (ESS), a key element of Hong Kong’s Anti-epidemic Fund 2.0, allows HK employers to retain their workers and supply wages.
- Non-public employers need to contribute to the Obligatory Provident Fund or arrange an Occupational Retirement Scheme and agree to not lay off any workers throughout this era – to be eligible for the ESS.
- Functions for the second tranche of subsidies will finish September 13, 2020, protecting the interval of September to November 2020.
In April 2020, the Monetary Committee of the Hong Kong Legislative Counsel authorised the Employment Assist Scheme (ESS) — a monetary lifeline for employers to have the ability to proceed to pay workers wages and retain workers.
The ESS is a part of Hong Kong’s colossal Anti-epidemic Fund 2.0, rolled out in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
To be eligible for the ESS, personal employers will need to have already been making frequently funds to the Obligatory Provident Fund or have arrange an Occupational Retirement Scheme in Hong Kong.
As well as, they need to present an endeavor that they won’t lay off any workers throughout this time.
The primary tranche of the subsidies was distributed in the course of the interval of June to August 2020. The applying for the second tranche of the subsidies shall be for the interval of September to November 2020.
Functions for the second tranche of subsidies have opened from 31 August 2020 to September 13, 2020.
What are the eligibility standards?
Broadly talking, eligible HK employers are those that meet the next two situations:
- Have been making Obligatory Provident Fund (MPF) contribution for workers; and
- Present an endeavor that they may:
- Not lay off any employees in the course of the subsidy interval; and
- Use the total quantity of the subsidies to pay their workers’ wages.
Nonetheless, the place an employer violates this dedication for the subsidy, the employer involved should return the quantity of subsidy not used to pay wages to the federal government and/or pay a effective to the federal government
What’s the wage subsidy?
Usually talking, the allotted wage subsidy is 50 % of an worker’s month-to-month wage, capped at HK$18,000 (US$2,322) for a interval of six months. On this case, the quantity of the wages to be paid by the federal government below such subsidy is at a most of HK$9,000 (US$1,160) per worker, monthly. For self-employed individual(s) contributing to MPF will obtain a one-off subsidy of $7,500 (US$968).
When making use of for the subsidy, the employer wants to pick out a month inside a specified interval main as much as the subsidy interval – this would be the ‘designated month’ and shall be used to information the MPF trustee to supply the applicant with the variety of workers and related earnings for that month as a foundation for calculating the subsidies.
Roll-out of Hong Kong’s Employment Assist Scheme
In April this 12 months, the outbreak of COVID-19 towards the backdrop of extended intervals of social unrest had put Hong Kong’s companies in full disarray.
In response to this, the Hong Kong SAR Chief Government unveiled the Anti-Epidemic Fund 2.0 – the third and largest stimulus package deal in 2020, which amounted to HK$137.5 billion (US$18 billion), and earmarked HK$80 billion (US$10 billion) for the Employment Assist Scheme.
In line with data launched by the ESS Secretariat, the primary tranche of subsidies obtained a complete of 168,799 purposes from employers and 259,860 purposes from self-employed individuals.
And as of the top of June, the Secretariat had authorised an quantity totaling HK$19.1 billion (US$2.46 billion) of wage subsidy, benefiting over 836,000 workers – with the present approval charge standing at round 53 %. For self-employed individuals, the Secretariat disturbed 74,000 one-off subsidies, price a couple of complete of HK$556 million (US$71.eight million).
With the ESS coming into its second tranche of purposes, companies should act shortly to find out their eligibility and submit their utility for the subsidies earlier than September 13, 2020.
For additional enquiries about this scheme, please contact us at hong [email protected].
China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The observe assists international buyers into China and has accomplished so since 1992 by way of places of work in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the agency for help in China at [email protected].
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