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Eligible employers and self-employed persons reminded to submit applications for Employment Support Scheme before September 13 deadline
       A Government spokesman today (September 9) reminded eligible employers and self-employed persons (SEPs) wishing to apply for the second tranche of wage subsidies under the Employment Support Scheme (ESS) to submit applications before 11.59pm on September 13 (Sunday), the deadline for application. Applications should be submitted through the ESS online portal at (www.ess.gov.hk).

       Since the commencement of the two-week application period on August 31, the second tranche of the ESS has received, up to noon today, about 141 000 applications from employers and over 18 000 from SEPs. Among the employers' applications received so far, about 93 per cent of the employer applicants had successfully applied for the first tranche of the ESS.
       SEPs with "MPF self-employed person" accounts, which have not been terminated as of March 31, 2020, can also submit applications for the $7,500 one-off lump sum subsidy during the application period for the second tranche of the ESS if they have not received the subsidy in the first tranche.

       The spokesman said, "The vetting process of all applications received is expeditiously under way with a view to disbursing wage subsidies as soon as possible to eligible employers who have provided accurate and complete information."

       Upon completion of the processing of applications, the ESS Secretariat will inform successful applicants of the results via SMS and email. Applicants can log on to the ESS enquiry portal (enquiry.ess.gov.hk) to check the application results including the amount of subsidy granted under the second tranche and the committed paid headcount for the months of September to November 2020.

       If the employer concerned has been disbursed subsidies in both the first and second tranches, but has not, during the subsidy period of the first tranche, used the entire subsidy amount received in the first tranche on paying the wages of employees, or the number of paid employees is less than the total number of paid and unpaid employees in March 2020, the Government will claw back the unspent amount, and/or request the employer to pay a penalty; the relevant amount of which will be directly deducted from the second tranche of subsidies.  
       The spokesman reminded, "Should an applicant have any enquiries about the application result, the applicant is required to make a request for a review of the decision through the above-mentioned enquiry portal within seven days from the date of issuance of the result notification. Once the request for review is received, the subsidy payment will then be withheld until the completion of the review. If no request for review is received from the applicant before the deadline, the application result will become final. The Secretariat will not accept any late request for review of the application result.
        "On the other hand, if an applicant has no objection to the application result, we encourage the applicant to confirm the acceptance of the application result through the enquiry portal within two days of the notification being issued so as to facilitate the Secretariat to arrange for an earlier disbursement of wage subsidies."

       For enquiries, please send an email to enquiry@employmentsupport.hk or call the ESS hotline (1836 122). The service hours of the hotline are as follows:
August 31 - September 9 9am to 6pm
September 10 - 12 9am to 8pm
September 13 9am to 0.30am of the following day
       Applicants who need assistance in completing their online applications may call the ESS hotline to make appointments with the following three ESS Help Desks during the application period:
• North Point Help Desk at Room 1701, A T Tower, 180 Electric Road, North Point;
• Kwun Tong Help Desk at Room 2507, Prosperity Center, 25 Chong Yip Street, Kwun Tong; and
• Tsuen Wan Help Desk at Room 1206, Chinachem Tsuen Wan Plaza, 455 Castle Peak Road - Tsuen Wan.
     The service hours of the ESS Help Desks are as follows:
August 31 - September 9 9am to 6pm
September 10 - 12 9am to 8pm
September 13 9am to 10pm
       The service hours of the ESS hotline and the Help Desks will remain active from Monday to Friday (9am to 6pm) to answer enquiries beyond the application period.
Ends/Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Issued at HKT 18:31
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