Refinements of the new round of Employment Support Scheme


The HKSAR Government first announced a new round of Employment Support Scheme (the “ESS 2022”) on 18 March 2022.

Having consulted the relevant stakeholders, the Government stated on 8 April 2022 that it will launch a ‘perfected version’ of the ESS 2022 by relaxing some of the application requirements originally announced for the scheme. The main changes that have been announced are summarised as follows.

  1. The original cap on the monthly salary of HK$30,000 for eligible employees will be removed. This means that employers can apply for wage subsidies under the scheme for all employees subject to:-
    1. the maximum amount of wage subsidies for each employee which will remain at HK$8,000; and
    2. the maximum number of employees in respect of whom each employer may receive subsidies will be increased to 1000 employees for each employer.

  2. Employers can now choose to receive subsidies based on either:-
    1. the number of employees they submitted in the previous round of ESS; or
    2. the actual number of individuals employed by them in the fourth quarter of 2021 (albeit it was indicated that the release of subsidies using this updated number will be delayed).

  3. Employers (including supermarkets, pharmacies, property management companies, banks, financial institutions, insures, public utilities, estate agents, and real estate developers) which were considered to be less affected by the pandemic and excluded from the scope of the scheme will now be covered under a ‘restricted list’.
    Employers under the restricted list can apply for subsidies under the scheme, but the maximum number of employee to which they will receive subsides will be limited to 100 employee.
    Notably, logistic companies, sub-contractors in the construction industry, renovation, repair or maintenance companies now appear to have become fully covered under the scheme subject to the refined requirements.
  4. There will be increased coverage of other types of employees/ workers under the ESS 2022.
    1. Part-time or free-lance employees whose monthly income is less than HK$8,000 will now be eligible to receive half of the capped amount of subsidies (i.e. HK$4,000).
    2. Temporary workers, self-employed workers and employees over the age of 65 who have been participating in Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) or Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) schemes will also now be eligible to receive the full amount of wage subsidies.

The Government’s application for funding of the ESS 2022 will be submitted to LegCo for approval next Tuesday 12 April 2022.

More details could be found in the Government news website at: (Chinese only).

Russell Bennett and Mark Chiu

To contact the Tanner De Witt Employment Practice, please reach out to our Employment partner Russell Bennett at: 

Russell Bennett 
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Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.