HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Government moves to incentivise elderly and PWD hiring

Bosses hiring those aged 60 or above can get monthly allowance of up to $4,000 per employee.

The Labour Department has enhanced employment programmes designed to encourage bosses to hire the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWDs) through the Employment Programme for the Elderly and Middle-aged (EPEM) and Work Orientation and Placement Scheme (WOPS), according to a government statement.

Also read: Youth employment programme to cover part-timers by September

Bosses who engage elderly job seekers aged 60 or above will be offered on-the-job training allowance of up to $4,000 monthly per employee under the EPEM for a period of six to 12 months whilst organisations hiring job seekers aged 40 to 59 may receive a maximum of $3,000 per month per employee for a period of three to six months.

“This will enable mature job seekers to adapt to the new working environment and acquire essential job-specific skills with a view to securing stable employment,” according to a government statement.

The WOPS, which aims to encourage employers to hire PWDs and provide them with coaching and support, has also been enhanced with the work adaptation period (WAP) extended from two months to three months.

The ceiling of the monthly allowance is also raised from $5,500 to $7,000 during the three-month WAP and from $4,000 to $5,000 for the ensuing six months.

With this enhancement, the maximum period within which the allowance is payable is extended from eight to nine months, with the maximum allowance payable to employers increased by $16,000 to a total of $51,000 for each hired person with disabilities who has employment difficulties.

Moreover, the cash award for the mentor will also be increased by $500 to a total of $1,500 if the mentor successfully assists the employee with disabilities to stay on the job after the three-month WAP.

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