Jewelry firm gets $44m for staff pay

Top News | Sophie Hui 30 Jun 2020

Luk Fook Jewellery collected nearly HK$44 million in salary subsidies, topping the second batch of firms to benefit from the Employment Support Scheme.

Government officials yesterday named the 33,679 firms in the batch.

Ninety-eight percent of them are "micro, small or medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 50 employees," a spokesman noted.

"These employers have received wage subsidies totaling about HK$6.5 billion and committed to maintaining a paid headcount exceeding 280,000."

Luk Fook received HK$43.7 million for 1,493 employees.

It was followed by catering group J&D, which operates takeaway dim sum chain Tong Kee Bao Dim. It picked up HK$42.7 million for 1,983 employees.

City Security received HK$39.4 million for 1,706 workers.

Forty-one companies in the first and second batches of employers list received wage subsidies amounting to more than HK$10 million.

They include SATS HK, which provides ground-handling services at Hong Kong International Airport, IFC Development (Hotel), Kowloon Dairy, travel agency EGL and ATAL Building Services Engineering, which is owned by Otto Poon Lok-to, husband of Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah.

A number of media operations also collected subsidies, including Sing Tao Management Services (HK$25 million for 993 employees) and MyTV Super, owned by Television Broadcasts (HK$3.7 million for 138 employees).

The group earlier received HK$9.2 million in subsidies for 333 employees in four other subsidiaries - TVB New Media Group, TVB Publications, TVB Anywhere and Big Big Channel.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong received HK$2.7 million for 104 employees, while Blackpaper, which owns magazine 100Most and online video platform TVMost, collected HK$2.6 million for 102 workers.

Hospitals also made the list.

Gleneagles Hospital in Wong Chuk Hang received HK$31 million for 1,151 employees, Matilda & War Memorial Hospital - now Matilda International Hospital on the Peak - HK$7.9 million for 324 employees, and Evangel Hospital in Kowloon City HK$6.7 million for 268 employees.

The scheme secretariat has also disbursed HK$7.7 billion in wage subsidies to a third batch of 30,016 employers covering 335,000 workers. The names in that batch have yet to be revealed.

The first batch of 25,500 employers was revealed last week and included medical groups, airlines, retailers and restaurants with more than 200,000 employees. Their subsidies totaled HK$4.8 billion.

Topping the list was the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Happy Valley, which received HK$85.9 million for 3,238 employees.

Under the scheme, business owners receive half of their workers' wages for six months, with the monthly subsidy for each one capped at HK$9,000.

The scheme received 168,799 applications from employers and 259,680 self-employed people in the opening wave of applications. So far, 53 percent of applications have been approved, involving subsidies HK$19.1 billion in respect of 836,000 employees.

There are 70,000 applications pending and officials aim to process all of them by mid-July.

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