The Labour Department (LD) today (June 2) announced that a Subsidy Scheme for Employment Agencies (EAs) will be introduced under the Anti-epidemic Fund to assist EAs to tide over the difficulties arising from the COVID-19 epidemic.
An LD spokesman said, "The business of EAs has been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. In particular, the business of EAs that provide foreign domestic helper (FDH) placement services has been greatly affected as some overseas countries have suspended the processing of new and contract renewal applications of FDHs. At the same time, EAs that do not provide FDH placement services have also been affected due to the economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic and the worsening unemployment situation in Hong Kong. In view of the above, the Anti-epidemic Fund Steering Committee endorsed on May 29 a proposal to provide a one-off subsidy to EAs to help them tide over this difficult time."
Under the Scheme, a one-off lump sum subsidy will be granted to EAs with a valid licence issued by the LD. A subsidy of $50,000 will be granted for each main licence of an EA which provides FDH placement services. For EAs which do not provide FDH placement services, a subsidy of $30,000 will be granted for each main licence. An additional subsidy of $10,000 will be granted for each duplicate licence for a branch office of both kinds of EA.
The Scheme will be open for application in the second half of June 2020. All EAs holding a valid EA licence or having submitted an application for licence renewal in accordance with the Employment Agency Regulations (Cap. 57A) as at May 31, 2020 will be eligible for applying for the subsidy. EAs applying for a subsidy of $50,000 will be required to declare that they had provided FDH placement services on or before May 31, 2020, and may be required to submit documentary proof as necessary. Application details and guidelines will be announced in a press release and uploaded to the LD's Employment Agencies Portal (www.eaa.labour.gov.hk).
For enquiries about the Scheme, please contact the Employment Agencies Administration of the LD at 2115 3667.
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