HONG KONG, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced on Monday that the application for the 2022 Employment Support Scheme (ESS) will start on Friday.
Law Chi-kwong, secretary for labor and welfare of the HKSAR government, announced during a press conference that the application for the 2022 ESS will be open from April 29 till May 12, with a view to granting financial assistance to the first batch of successful applicants in early May.
Law said that with the launch of the 2022 ESS and the effect of the consumption vouchers, it is hoped that enterprises can regain confidence and hire more employees to increase employment opportunities in Hong Kong.
"As long as the COVID-19 pandemic remains under control, with the various measures currently in place, it is hoped that the employment situation will improve," Law said.
The refined ESS will benefit around 1.6 million employees and 140,000 self-employed people, and the estimated expenditure of the scheme is around 39 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 5 billion U.S. dollars), with the total financial commitment at around 43 billion Hong Kong dollars after taking into account the contingency sum, he added.
On Monday, Hong Kong registered 242 new COVID-19 cases by nucleic acid tests, and 189 additional positive cases through self-reported rapid antigen tests, official data showed. ■