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HK to hand out $24k in subsidy to 1.3M workers

18 March 2022

By The SUN

Restaurant workers are among those qualified for the new employment subsidy

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has unveiled a new round of subsidy for small businesses affected by the fifth wave of the pandemic, estimated to cost the government between $26 billion to $31 billion.

Under the new employment support scheme, stricken businesses will be given financial help over three months, or from May to July this year, so they can continue employing and paying their workers up to $8,000 each per month.

Those qualified to get the subsidy are employees earning no more than $30,000 a month, who according to CE Lam, make up 75% of the city’s workforce. Between 1.1million to 1.3 million workers are expected to benefit.


Unlike in the previous round of subsidies, workers who are aged 65 or above and do not have an MPF account as well as small business proprietors, will also be eligible.

The CE said applications which will open in April will have to be made by business owners, who must use the subsidies to pay their staff and not for any other purposes. 

She added that the scheme is intended to help small businesses hit by the Omicron outbreak, so big companies that have been relatively unscathed will not benefit.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Among those excluded are government bodies, public institutions, supermarket and pharmaceutical chains, banks as well as telecommunications and broadcast companies.

“We will not draw a distinction between the resident status, ethnicity or background of the individuals," the CE said.

"Distinctions will be made on the basis of the industry. So for certain business sectors which are not obviously affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, they will not be eligible.”

She added the new classification was drawn up based on the feedbacks they received when the first round of employment subsidies was introduced in 2020.


The move was announced after the government reported that the unemployment rate has risen to 4.5 percent, which Mrs Lam said was worrying. The figure was a substantial jump from the 3.9 percent recorded in the past three months.

The CE said the scheme is aimed at curbing unemployment and to boost business confidence.

Separately, she announced that applications for the one-off $10,000 subsidy for those who lost their jobs as a result of the renewed surge in cases will open from next Wednesday, Mar 23.

To qualify, applicants must have worked either full time, part-time or were self-employed for at least one month between October to December last year and must have earned between $2,700 to $30,000 a month.

Press for details

In a subsequent press conference officers from the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office and the Home Affairs Department said an applicant must also fulfill the following requirements: 

(1)   Holds a valid Hong Kong identity card;  (2)  Attains 18 years of age on or before Oct 1, 2021; (3)  Has resided in Hong Kong from Oct 1, 2021 to the date of application; (4) Is currently employed in any of the affected businesses under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance but has been asked not to work temporarily for at least 30 days prior to the date of application; (5)  Is not a recipient of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme at the time of application or benefited from any Covid relief measures previously.

Applications may be made online through the website ( starting from 8am on Mar 23.


Applicants who need to be assisted in person may book an appointment through the hotline, 183 6128 starting from today and visit the designated service centres. Enquiries can also be made through the hotline or by email at

The service centres can be found at the following addresses:

·       Room 1501, 15/F, AT Tower, 180 Electric Road, North Point

·       Rooms 1805-06, 18/F, Wu Sang House, 655 Nathan Road, Mong Kok

·       Room 1606, 16/F, Futura Plaza, 111 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong

·       Wan Tau Tong Neighbourhood Community Centre, Wan Tau Tong Estate, Tai Po

·       1/F, Yuen Long District Sports Association Jockey Club Complex, 8 Yuen Long Tai Yuk Road, Yuen Lon


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