Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged

Introduction

The Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged (EPEM) aims at encouraging employers to engage unemployed job seekers aged 40 or above in full-time or part-time long-term job vacancies and provide the job seekers with on-the-job training (OJT), through the provision of training allowance to employers. This will enable job seekers to adapt to new work environment and acquire essential job-specific skills with a view to securing stable employment. Upon completion of OJT by eligible employees under EPEM, employers engaging elderly job seekers aged 60 or above who are unemployed or have left the workforce may apply for an OJT allowance of up to $5,000 per month per employee for 6 to 12 months; while employers engaging unemployed job seekers aged 40 to 59 may apply for an OJT allowance of up to $4,000 per month per employee for 3 to 6 months.

Labour Department (LD) launched a pilot scheme on 1 September 2020 to encourage the elderly aged 60 or above under EPEM to undergo and complete OJT through the provision of retention allowance, thereby stabilising employment. Each eligible employee can apply for retention allowance of up to $1,000 per month if they have stayed at their jobs for three months or above during the OJT period and can receive retention allowance for a maximum period of 12 months (i.e. up to $12,000) under the three-year pilot scheme.

Job-seekers

Eligibility

All job seekers aged 40 or above and have an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment are eligible for EPEM.

Registration

No prior registration under EPEM is required. After job seekers have secured full-time or part-time (i.e. working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week) employment from long-term job vacancies registered at the LD, job seekers can submit the completed "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training" through the employers to LD within the first month of employment and complete other application procedures.

Retention Allowance

Eligible employees under EPEM who are aged 60 or above at the time of employment, secure employment from long-term vacancies registered at LD, join EPEM through the employer to undergo OJT of 6 to 12 months and stay at the job for three months or more during the OJT period, can apply for retention allowance from LD at the amount as below:

Type of Post
Period for Retention Allowance
Amount of Retention Allowance*
Type of Post: Full-time Post
Period for Retention Allowance: Up to 12 OJT months
(subject to the length of OJT period approved by LD)
Amount of Retention Allowance*: $3,000 for staying in the job for three months and $1000 per month for completion of each subsequent month
Type of post: Part-time Post#
Period for Retention Allowance: Up to 12 OJT months
(subject to the length of OJT period approved by LD)
Amount of Retention Allowance*: $1,500 for staying in the job for three months and $500 per month for completion of each subsequent month

* Retention Allowance is calculated by each complete month within the OJT period.

# Working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week will be defined as part-time post.

Employers

Eligibility

Employers who register their vacancies of full-time or part-time long-term posts with the LD and then employ elderly or middle-aged job seekers aged 40 or above and have an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment to fill such posts, may submit applications to LD for the provision of OJT to the newly hired employees under EPEM.

On-the-job Training and Training Allowance

In general, OJT lasts for 3 months for employees aged 40 to 59 and 6 months for employees aged 60 or above. Subject to the approval of the LD with assessment on the nature of the post and business, experience of the employees and mentors, and mode and content of the training, etc., the OJT period may be extended to a maximum of 6 months for employees aged 40 to 59 and 12 months for employees aged 60 or above for deserving cases in which employers have to provide information for vetting.

Upon completion of OJT by eligible employees under EPEM, participating employers may apply for training allowance from LD with details as tabulated below:

Type of post
Age of Employee^
Amount of OJT allowance*
(per month per employee)
Type of post: Full-time post
Age of Employee^: Aged 40 to 59
Amount of OJT allowance*:
(per month per employee):
50% of the employee's salary of the month,
with the maximum amount up to $4,000
Age of Employee^: Aged 60 or above
Amount of OJT allowance*
(per month per employee):
50% of the employee's salary of the month,
with the maximum amount up to $5,000
Type of post: Part-time post#
Age of Employee^: Aged 40 to 59
Amount of OJT allowance*
(per month per employee):
25% of the employee's salary of the month,
with the maximum amount up to $4,000
Age of Employee^: Aged 60 or above
Amount of OJT allowance*
(per month per employee):
50% of the employee's salary of the month,
with the maximum amount up to $5,000

^ Age of employee at the commencement of employment.

* Under EPEM, when computing the salary of the job, any items which does not fall within the definition of "wages" under the Employment Ordinance (e.g. discretionary bonus, end of year payment, etc.), irrespective of how it is designated or calculated, should be excluded.

# Working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week will be defined as part-time post.

Registration

Employers should register their full-time or part-time long-term vacancies with the LD through completion of the "Vacancy Order Form" or via the "Interactive Employment Service" website and indicate that they welcome applications from elderly and middle-aged job seekers. After the job vacancies are registered with LD, job seekers obtain vacancies information and proceed to applications through referrals of the LD or directly to the employers, depending on the job application method selected by the employers.

When employers employ eligible job seekers under EPEM, they have to submit a completed "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training" , together with copies of Business Registration Certificate, Certificate of Registration of a School or other recognized license, to the Programme Office [Address: 10/F, Kowloon East Government Offices, 12 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kwun Tong. Fax no. 2391 3937] within (i) 3 months from the date when the job vacancy is posted at LD, and (ii) the first month after the commencement of employment of the job seekers. LD may request the employer to submit supporting documents on the salary and hours of work of the job (e.g. the signed employment contract) for examination.

#For enquiries, please contact EPEM Hotline : 2150 6398

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Last Review Date: 22 November 2022