The Employment Support Scheme Secretariat today published the list of the first batch of employers who have received wage subsidies under the second tranche of the scheme.


The list covers 19,200 employers with wage subsidies totalling about $6.8 billion to maintain a total paid headcount of over 270,000.


The secretariat has also notified the third batch of over 22,000 employers of their successful application for the scheme’s second tranche, with subsidies totalling about $13.1 billion and a total committed headcount of paid employees of close to 560,000.


These applicants should confirm acceptance through the enquiry portal within two days of the notification such that the secretariat may arrange for an earlier disbursement of wage subsidies.


Taking into account the third batch of employers, the scheme has approved wage subsidies to a total of about 125,000 employers under the second tranche, with subsidies totalling $31.8 billion and a total committed headcount of paid employees of about 1.33 million.


Among them, about 15,400 employers have not fulfilled one or two undertakings of the first tranche of the scheme.


They either failed to fully use the subsidy amount received on paying wages to employees in June and/or July or they could not maintain the number of paid employees in the respective months.


About 95% of them had less than their committed headcount of paid employees in June and/or July. Most of them had a reduction in headcount involving one or two employees.


The Government will claw back the unspent amount and request the employer to pay a penalty. The amount involved is about $190 million which is equivalent to 0.6% of the total amount of wage subsidies under three batches of the second tranche. The amount will be deducted from the relevant employers’ second tranche subsidies.


The secretariat has completed processing around 80% of the employers’ applications for the second tranche, and it will process the remaining 36,000 applications as soon as possible.


The Government said if employers receiving the second tranche of wage subsidies made redundancies in their respective companies during the subsidy period and the secretariat considers that the magnitude of redundancies is substantial, and the employers fail to prove their intention to hire new employees to replace those being laid off or re-employ those who have been laid off, or there are no reasonable explanations provided for the redundancies made, the Government reserves the right to claw back the second tranche of wage subsidies disbursed to the employers in full or in part.


Meanwhile, the secretariat has approved the $7,500 one-off lump sum subsidy to a total of 8,100 self-employed people, involving a total subsidy of $61 million.