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Job Seekers' Frequently Asked Questions

Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged

Job Seekers' Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the eligibility criteria of job seekers for joining the Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged (EPEM), and how to enroll?

    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 joining EPEM. Please refer to the section of "Job Seekers: Application Guides".

  2. What will job seekers benefit from EPEM?

    EPEM aims at encouraging employers to engage eligible 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 jobs and provide them with on-the-job training (OJT) recognised by the Labour Department. This not only enables elderly and middle-aged job seekers to secure stable employment, but also help them adapt to the new work environment and acquire essential job-specific skills.

  3. How to calculate 'having an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment'?

    It means that the job seekers have an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment, but a consecutive unemployment period for 1 month is not required.

  4. Do job seekers need to produce any documents to prove the unemployment period within the past 1 year?

    The placed job seekers have to declare that they have an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment, and sign on the "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training" as confirmation when the employers make an application under EPEM.

  5. Under EPEM, do job seekers need to be engaged in certain industries or occupations?

    There is no restriction on industries or occupations under EPEM, but the job vacancies have to be full-time or part-time (i.e. working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week) long-term posts registered at the Labour Department. Employers should first register their job vacancies with Labour Department and indicate that they welcome applications from elderly and middle-aged job seekers to facilitate the job seekers to browse and apply for the jobs. Job seekers obtain relevant vacancy information through Labour Department or other recruitment channels and then proceed to applications through referrals of the Labour Department or directly to the employers, depending on the job application method selected by the employers.

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

  6. What are the characteristics of OJT provided by employers? How can job seekers benefit from the training?

    Under EPEM, employers have to provide OJT to the job seekers placed during the OJT period approved by LD, and assign an experienced staff as their mentor. The provision of OJT enables the newly hired elderly or middle-aged employees to adapt to the new work environment and acquire the essential job-specific skills.

    OJT can be formulated by employers based on the company’s business nature, job seekers' qualifications and job requirements, etc. However, the content of training must at least include the following items: assignment of a mentor, nature of business and company structure, human resources policy, product and service knowledge, roles and duties of staff, work knowledge, workflow and job-related skills and procedures.

  7. Can job seekers who intend to join EPEM use other employment services of the Labour Department at the same time?

    Yes.

  8. Will employers continue to employ the job seekers concerned after the completion of the OJT?

    We encourage employers to continue hiring the job seekers concerned after the completion of OJT. At the same time, the Labour Department will monitor each application to ensure that the employers are in compliance with the requirements under EPEM.

  9. Do job seekers need to sign any documents under EPEM after they are employed?

    Participating employers have to submit a "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training" under EPEM. To apply for longer OJT period for a maximum of 6 months for employees aged 40 to 59 and 12 months for employees aged 60 or above, the employers have to submit a "Training Plan" as well. Upon the completion of OJT, employers have to submit an "On-the-job Training Allowance Claim Form". The placed job seekers have to sign on all the documents concerned, and copies of the signed documents will be provided to them for reference.

  10. What are the eligibility criteria of employee for applying retention allowance?

    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 Labour Department (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.

    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).

  11. How to apply for retention allowance?

    After job seekers have secured employment from long-term job vacancies registered at the Labour Department, 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 Labour Department within the first month of employment.

    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. Labour Department reserves the right to request the employer or employee to provide supporting documents in relation to the employment for examination purpose. Upon verification of the information submitted, retention allowance will be granted to the employee in a lump sum by cheque.

    For details about retention allowance, please refer to the section of "Job Seekers: Application Guides".

  12. What else should job seekers be aware of?

    The employer and the employee shall provide true and accurate information. Provision of false or erroneous information for obtaining or intending to obtain any allowance under EPEM, they will be liable to an offence. The Labour Department may refer the cases to other divisions of this Department and/or other government departments/statutory bodies for follow-up.

For enquiries, please contact EPEM Hotline: 2150 6398 or e-mail at epem_enq@labour.gov.hk.

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