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Details of eligibility and procedures concerning the application of the 2nd tranche of subsidy under Employment Support Scheme (ESS) unveiled by the HKSAR Government on August 18, 2020

20 August 2020

Joseph Hong , Director and Head of Payroll & HR Outsourcing Services |

The Government unveiled on 18 August, 2020 details concerning the application of the 2nd tranche of subsidy under Employment Support Scheme (ESS), which employers and self-employed persons will be able to apply the subsidy under ESS online starting from 31 August, 2020 till 13 September, 2020. Please find the ESS website below for your reference and online completion and submission of the application forms to the relevant authority for application of the subsidy. (application forms for the 2nd tranche of the subsidy will be available from 7:00am, 31 August, 2020 till 11:59pm, 13 September, 2020)

We would like to draw your attention to the details of application and obligations as follows:

1. Subsidies will cover which period of staff wages?

Employers are expected to apply the fund to subsidize their payment of staff wages from September 2020 to November 2020. 

2. When will employers expect to receive wage subsidies?

The 2nd tranche of subsidies would be disbursed in mid-September 2020 (the earliest).

3. Application procedures for second tranche of subsidy under ESS

The eligibility and procedures for application of the 2nd tranche of subsidy under ESS as well as the formula on penalty and claw-back of subsidy because of employers' failure to fulfill their undertaking will remain unchanged as that of the 1st tranche of the subsidy except for the followings:


  1. The employers may change the specified month previously selected from either December 2019, January, February, or March 2020 as the 'specified month' as the basis of calculation of the subsidy (whilst there will be no change of headcount measured against the employer's headcount as per MPF/ORSO contribution record in March 2020); and
  2. The employees whose age reached 65 or above, even if their employers have not paid salary and made MPF voluntary contribution for them in March 2020 or thereafter, but if they still maintain their MPF accounts with the MPF trustee, will get HK$5,000 per month per employee in subsidies. The employers of the elderly employees who receive the subsidies have to undertake to spend all the wage subsidies on paying wages to their employees.

The Government has also set requirements for two leading supermarket chains (Park'nshop and Wellcome) and large-scale estate management firms to undertake extra commitments upon receipt of the 2nd tranche of subsidies under ESS:

  1. The large-scale estate management companies will be required to contribute 80% of the 2nd tranche of subsidy they receive to subsidize the residents and/or the incorporated owners of properties for the maintenance fee and property management fee; and
  2. Park'nshop and Wellcome will be required to contribute the 2nd tranche of subsidy they receive to either provide discounts for customers, or offer coupons for socially vulnerable groups. 

In the meantime, please feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist you in respect of the application of the above subsidies.