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 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. 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.
Job seekers must be aged 40 or above at the time of employment and have an unemployment period of not less than 1 month within 1 year prior to the commencement date of employment.
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 Labour Department (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.
Employers have to register their vacancies of full-time or part-time long-term posts with LD and then employ elderly or middle-aged 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 to fill such posts. Within the first month after the commencement date of employment of the employees, employers may submit applications to LD for the provision of OJT to the newly hired employees under EPEM.
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 LD with assessment on the nature of the post and business, experience of the employees and mentors, and mode and content of the training, etc., the OJT period may be extended to a maximum of 6 months for employees aged 40 to 59 and 12 months for employees aged 60 or above for deserving cases in which employers have to provide information for vetting.
Upon completion of OJT by eligible employees under EPEM, participating employers may apply for training allowance from LD with details as tabulated below:
^ Age of employee at the commencement of employment.
* Under EPEM, "salary" means any remuneration expressed in monetary terms, payable by an employer to an employee, including any wages, overtime pay, commission, allowance (e.g. good attendance allowance), pay for taken leaves, holidays and rest days, and employee's contributions to Mandatory Provident Fund ("MPF scheme"), but excludes (i) reimbursement for actual expenses incurred by an employee; (ii) compensation for termination of employment (e.g. wages in lieu of notice and pay for untaken annual leave); (iii) year-end payment; (iv) gratuity; (v) payment of a gratuitous nature or payable at an employer's discretion (e.g. bonus/perquisite/ irregular payment / non-recurrent allowance); (vi) periodical payment arising from work injuries; (vii) an employer's contributions to MPF scheme; (viii) deductions (e.g. uniform deposits) without proof of repayment. Items (i) to (viii) stated in the above would not be taken into account for computing the amount of OJT allowance.
# Working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week will be defined as part-time post.
Employers should register their full-time or part-time long-term vacancies with LD through completion of the "Vacancy Order Form" or via the "Interactive Employment Service" website and may indicate that they welcome applications from elderly and middle-aged job seekers. After the job vacancies are registered with LD, job seekers obtain vacancies information and proceed to applications through referrals of LD or directly to the employers, depending on the job application method selected by the employers.
When employers employ eligible job seekers under EPEM, they have to submit a completed "Preliminary Application Form for On-the-Job Training", together with copies of Business Registration Certificate, Certificate of Registration of A School or other recognised licence, to the Programme Office [Address: 10/F, Kowloon East Government Offices, 12 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kwun Tong. Fax no. 2391 3937] within (i) 3 months from the date when the job vacancy is posted at LD, and (ii) the first month after the commencement of employment of the job seekers. LD may request the employer to submit supporting documents on the salary and hours of work of the job (e.g. the signed employment contract) for examination.
For enquiries, please contact EPEM Hotline : 2150 6398