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Update on the wage subsidy under the Hong Kong Employment Support Scheme

15 May 2020

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On 12 May 2020, the Hong Kong Chief Executive revealed further details on the first tranche of wage subsidies under the Employment Support Scheme (the ‘Scheme’) and announced several improvement measures to expand the Scheme to cover more beneficiaries. Read on to learn more about the latest updates on the Scheme that may be relevant to your business.

How the first tranche of wage subsidy works

  • Applications for the first tranche of wage subsidy (between June and August 2020) will commence on 25 May 2020.
  • Eligible employers may submit online applications from 25 May, with a submission deadline of 14 June 2020.
  • The wage subsidy is expected to be disbursed to employers three to four weeks after submitting the application.
  • A key eligibility requirement is that the number of paid employees during the subsidy period cannot be less than the total number of employees in March 2020.

Key changes of the Scheme

  • Extending the coverage of the Scheme to employees aged 65 or above under the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) schemes.
  • Providing relaxation for self-employed persons (SEPs) to apply for a one-off subsidy of HKD7,500, provided they had activated their MPF accounts before 31 March 2020.
  • Allowing eligible employers and SEPs to apply for subsidies based on wages recorded in one of the months between December 2019 and March 2020, instead of January to March 2020 as previously proposed.


  • Our Payroll Services team can help validate your eligibility and manage the application process for you under the Scheme.
  • Our Hong Kong team continues to closely monitor the latest updates of the Scheme, including online application procedures, monitoring mechanism and other detailed arrangements when they are made available by the Government in the coming days. Stay tuned for more updates.

Click here to review our previous communications about the Scheme.

To learn more about the Employment Support Scheme, visit the latest Government press releaseFAQs and related resources. If you would like to find out more about our HR and payroll services, please get in touch with our experts.