A first batch consisting of around 45,000 employers in Hong Kong have received notifications informing them of the successful application for the 2022 Employment Support Scheme (2022 ESS). The process which began on 29 April received around 150,000 applications from employers with a combined headcount of 1.2 million. Additionally, the government received about 10,000 submissions from self-employed applicants.
Employers can log in to the 2022 ESS website to check the amount of wage subsidy granted and the committed employee headcount during this subsidy period.
A government spokesman said, “Starting from today (10 May), the first batch of successful employers will receive notifications via SMS message and email. Employers will normally receive the wage subsidies of May, involving around $2.3 billion in total, within one week after receiving the notifications. These employers have committed to employ around 300,000 employees in May. About 98 per cent of the first batch of employers receiving wage subsidies are micro- or small and medium-sized enterprises with less than 50 employees. The wage subsidies can help employers retain their current employees or even employ more staff when the business revives.”
The first batch applicants of 2022 ESS comprise of successful applicants of the 2020 ESS and used data from that year to set the subsidized quota cap for their latest application.
As such, the government has reminded employers that data from the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) during the subsidy months will be used to determine whether employers are complying with their payroll responsibilities. Employees and their salary information which are not reflected on MPF records will be held against the respective employer, subjecting the latter to a clawback of subsidy and penalty.
Application for the 2022 ESS will be closed at 11.59pmon 12 May 2022. Eligible employers can apply for the wage subsidy can submit their applications here.