Response to employment subsidy ‘enthusiastic’

Labour secretary Law Chi-kwong on Saturday said the response to a new round of government employment subsidy has been enthusiastic, with close to 50,000 employers having submitted their applications on the first day.

Under the scheme, eligible businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic can claim up to $8,000 dollars a month for each worker to pay their salaries from May to July.

Law said the funds could be handed out in one or two weeks, and that he believes the job market would improve because of the subsidy, coupled with the easing of the pandemic.

“When we announced the intention of setting up the employment support scheme, we already saw some of the actions in the market where people started to think about the continuity of their business and the planning of resuming their business after the relaxation of the social distancing measures,” he said.

“The impact has already been seen in the past couple of weeks. We hope that with this Employment Support Scheme, people will be able to scale up their operations and create more employment for our labour force.”