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 (i.e. working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week) 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. EPEM implemented enhancement measures on 1 September 2020. 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.
In addition, the Labour Department 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.