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Job Seekers: Application Guides

Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged

Job Seekers: Application Guides

Eligibility

  1. Job seekers holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card (or other identity documents to prove that they are lawfully employable in Hong Kong), aged 40 or above and having an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment are eligible for joining Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged (EPEM).

  2. The placed job seeker commences employment after the vacancy has been registered by the employer at Labour Department (LD) and there is no relative or prior employment relationship between the placed job seeker and the employer.

Registration

  1. 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 at any job centre.

    Please click here to browse information on latest job vacancies of EPEM.

On-the-job Training

  1. Under EPEM, employer has to provide on-the-job training (OJT) to the placed job seeker during the approved period, and assigns an experienced staff as mentor. The provision of OJT is to enable newly hired employee to adapt to new work environment and acquire essential job-specific skills. OJT can be formulated by employer based on the company's business nature, job seeker's qualifications and requirements of the job, etc.

  2. 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, the OJT period may be extended to a maximum of 6 months and 12 months respectively for deserving cases in which employers have to provide information for vetting.

  3. After verification on preliminary application, LD will notify employers and employees by issuing a "Letter of Approval-in-Principle". Employers shall then commence the approved OJT according to the date specified in the "Letter of Approval-in-Principle". LD will provide copies of the "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training" and relevant training forms (if applicable) submitted by the employer to the employee concerned.

  4. Upon completion of OJT by eligible employees under EPEM, the employers may apply for training allowance from LD. For application procedures, please refer to the section of "Employers: Application Guides for On-the-job Training Allowance".

Retention Allowance (for eligible employees aged 60 or above only)

  1. LD launched a pilot scheme on 1 September 2020 to encourage the elderly under EPEM to undergo and complete OJT through the provision of retention allowance, thereby stabilising employment. Each eligible employee can receive retention allowance for a maximum period of 12 months (i.e. up to $12,000) under the three-year pilot scheme (from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2023).

  2. Eligible employees under EPEM who are aged 60 or above at the time of employment 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*
    Full-time Post Up to 12 OJT months
    (subject to the length of OJT period approved by LD)
    $3,000 for staying in the job for three months and $1000 per month for completion of each subsequent month
    Part-time Post# Up to 12 OJT months
    (subject to the length of OJT period approved by LD)
    $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.

  3. After job seekers have secured employment from long-term job vacancies registered at the LD, job seekers aged 60 or above who would like to apply for the Retention Allowance pilot scheme can join EPEM through the employer by submitting the preliminary application of retention allowance together with the "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training" to LD within the first month of employment.

  4. Eligible employees who undergo OJT of 6 to 12 months under EPEM and have stayed at the same job for three months or above during the OJT period, can submit the "Retention Allowance Claim Form" signed by both the employer and employee within two months at the end of the training period or when the employment is terminated (whichever is earlier) for claiming retention allowance.

  5. LD reserves the right to request the employer or employee to provide supporting documents in relation to the employment (such as employment contracts, wage/attendance/training/MPF records, employer's return of remuneration and pensions and other specified information, etc.) for examination purpose. Upon LD’s verification of the information submitted, retention allowance will be granted to the employee in a lump sum by cheque.

  6. Eligible employee can only claim retention allowance once for each job, and he/she cannot apply any allowance under other employment programme(s) of LD (except Work Trial Scheme) and cannot receive double subsidy from the Government.

  7. LD reserves the right of final decision on the calculation of retention allowance. The approved name of employer, OJT period, employee's post and other employment terms and conditions shall be based on the information at the time the "Letter of Approval-in-Principle" is issued.

  8. Application for retention allowance will be rejected if the employee fails to comply with any requirements set out in the Application Guidelines, or fails to fulfill the requirements for the application of retention allowance, or fails to provide information timely as required by LD, omits any information or provides false or erroneous information.

Points to note

  1. LD has the right to conduct on-site inspections to the workplace and require the employer or employee to produce relevant documents, such as Business Registration Certificate, employment contracts, wage and attendance records, MPF records, training records, employer's return of remuneration and pensions and other information for examination.

  2. The employer and the employee shall provide true and accurate information. Provision of false or erroneous information for obtaining or intending to obtain any allowances under this programme will be liable to an offence, and the case may be referred to other divisions of LD, other government departments and/or statutory bodies for follow-up.

  3. LD reserves the final right to approve preliminary application for retention allowance, to determine the length of OJT period and to grant retention allowance and its amount. In case of disputes over the application or interpretation of terms and clauses of the EPEM, the authority of final decision rests with LD. The employer and the employee shall undertake to submit to the decision of LD.

  4. For submission by post, please make a copy of the filled application forms for record and ensure sufficient mailing time and postage to make delivery in order. Underpaid mail will be rejected. For submission by fax, please keep the fax-generated logsheet that shows the successful transmission record.

  5. The Application Guidelines will be updated at times and the terms should be subject to the latest version. For enquiries, please contact the EPEM Hotline at 2150 6398 (address: 10/F., Kowloon East Government Offices, 12 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kwun Tong), or visit the EPEM dedicated webpage on the Interactive Employment Service website at www.jobs.gov.hk.

#For enquiries, please contact EPEM Hotline : 2150 6398

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