General information

01.
What is the application period of YOUTH?

YOUTH’s online application opened on 28 July 2021. Application period will close when the 200 quota exhausts, or 31 December 2021, whichever is earlier.

02.
If an applicant employer has applied for FIRST or other job-creation schemes financed by public funds, is it still eligible to apply for YOUTH?

In principle, a company may apply for more than one job creation or job support scheme financed by public funds on the basis that the subsidy does not apply to the same position created. With that in mind, by applying for YOUTH, the applicant employer undertakes not apply to more than one job creation or job support scheme financed by public funds for the same New Hire during the same period. It may apply for different schemes for different New Hires or for different periods.

Eligibility

03.
Which companies are eligible?

An entity or a firm regulated by prescribed statutory bodies are eligible for YOUTH, including:

  • licensed banks, restricted licence banks, deposit-taking companies, and stored value facility ("SVF") licensees authorised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority;
  • firms with non-temporary non-provisional licence and carrying out any of Type 1 to Type 10 regulated activities under the Securities and Futures Ordinance licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission;
  • insurers and insurance intermediaries (including insurance agencies and insurance broker companies; not including individuals) authorised by the Insurance Authority;
  • trustees approved by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority;
  • Certified Public Accountants firms and corporate practices registered with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (not individual practising certificate holders practising in their own names); or
  • trust companies registered under Section 78(1) of the Trustee Ordinance (Cap. 29) and Companies Registry.
04.
Are branches set up by non-local companies in Hong Kong eligible for the subsidy?

Entities or firms regulated by prescribed statutory bodies as set out in FAQ 3 are eligible to apply for YOUTH.

05.
How many applications can each applicant employer submit?

At the time of application, the New Hire must have already commenced employment. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Each eligible employer may apply for subsidy for up to two eligible New Hires.

06.
How is a company with more than one licences and/or regulated by more than one prescribed statutory bodies treated?

An applicant employer which has more than one authorisation, licence, and/or registration, whether with one or more statutory bodies, is nonetheless considered a single applicant employer.

07.
Can enterprise groups apply?

Each licensed subsidiary within a group is considered a separate applicant employer and can submit an independent application on the basis that it is an entity or a firm regulated by the prescribed statutory bodies listed in FAQ 3.

08.
Is there any requirement under YOUTH restricting approved employers from wage adjustments of New Hire during the subsidy period?

Regardless of any wage adjustments of the approved New Hire, the subsidy will be up to HK$10,000 or actual monthly basic salary, whichever is lower, per month per New Hire for 12 months.

Position and employee

09.
What is a “New Hire"?

Each approved New Hire must represent a net increase in the applicant employer’s number of full-time employees throughout the subsidy period. At the time of application, an applicant employer has to select either 30 April 2021, 31 May 2021 or 30 June 2021 as the reference date and indicate the number of existing full-time employees on such date. Employees joining after the selected reference date are regarded as New Hires.

Employees under YOUTH are defined as those for whom the applicant employer has set up MPF or ORSO scheme accounts and to whose accounts the applicant employer is providing MPF contributions or ORSO benefits for him/her.

10.
In the case that employee attrition occurs and drags down the number of employees of an approved employer (i.e., making a “net increase” during any of the 12-month subsidy period unachieved), what will happen?

Approved employers are expected to monitor its monthly number of employees and the amount of their subsidies received will be affected if a “net increase” cannot be achieved.

To illustrate: if an approved employer had 10 employees as of its selected reference date on 30 June 2021 and hired two graduates in July 2021. Suppose it has successfully applied for YOUTH for the two eligible New Hires, but a few months later one of the existing employees has left, such that its total number of employees becomes 11. The approved employer may thereafter receive subsidy for only 11 - 10 = 1 net increase in number of employees, even if both approved New Hires are still under the employment of the approved employer, until the employee number rises to 12 or above.

11.
What are the requirements for candidate applying for jobs created under YOUTH?

The candidate applying for jobs created under YOUTH must be aged 18 or above and permanent resident of Hong Kong, i.e., holding Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, at the time of commencement of the employment; and a university graduate having obtained a bachelor's degree or above in 2019 to 2021.

The following candidate will not be eligible if:

  • he/she is the spouse, a child, a parent or a sibling of a proprietor, a director or a partner of the applicant employer; and/or
  • he/she has been employed by the applicant employer or any of its group entities within the 12 months preceding the new employment (except for part-time, intern or short-term contact staff).
12.
What roles and positions of New Hires are eligible?

To facilitate applicant employers in making New Hires whom most suit their human resource needs, YOUTH does not specify any terms for the roles and positions. That stated, an applicant employer will have to state and undertake that:

  • it will require each New Hire to work full-time (i.e., at least 30 hours per week); and
  • it has employed each New Hire for at least 12 months’ continuous employment.

At the same time, fully commission-based, subcontracted or self-employment positions will not be eligible for YOUTH.

13.
If the New Hire is found unsuitable for the position after he/she is employed, can the approved employer terminate his/her employment and can the subsidy be used for some other purposes?

In case a New Hire’s employment ceases before 12 months, such that a part of the subsidy available for 12 months remains, the approved employer may reapply once for the remaining part to provide for another New Hire. Such approved employer may not itself transfer or treat the subsidy as providing for any other New Hire or other purposes. In any event, the subsidy period of YOUTH will end on 31 December 2022.

14.
Will the approved employer be penalised if the approved New Hire leaves the company during the subsidy period?

No penalty will be imposed on the approved employer if the approved New Hire leaves the company during the subsidy period. However, the approved employer must inform FSDC promptly via the YOUTH application portal and provide documentation to confirm the termination/departure of that approved New Hire.

15.
If an employee has MPF and ORSO accounts at the same time, how to calculate the number of existing employees in this regard?

This employee should only be counted as one headcount of the applicant employer.

Application procedures

16.
When should employers apply?

YOUTH’s online application opened on 28 July 2021. Application can only be made for a New Hire whose employment has already commenced as of the application submission date.

There is a quota of 200 New Hires for applicant employers applying under YOUTH. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Application period will close when the 200 quota exhausts, or on 31 December 2021, whichever is earlier.

17.
How to apply?

Applicant employers shall fill in and submit the required information on the YOUTH application portal together with relevant supplementary documents after the employment of eligible New Hire(s) has commenced.

18.
What are the application procedures? What are the documents required for a YOUTH application?

In making an application, the applicant employer should submit:

a) information about company, including:

  • its business registration certificate number;
  • its authorisation/ license/ registration certificate number;
  • a copy of the valid documents aforesaid; and
  • its latest bank statement (within 3 months).

b) existing headcount number of the applicant employer as of the selected reference date (either 30 April 2021, 31 May 2021 or 30 June 2021), calculated by:

  • total number of employees shown in MPF Remittance Statement and/or ORSO records for the month of applicant employer's selected reference date with the supporting documents;
  • deducting the total number of contract staff with original contract period less than one year and part-time staff (if any);
  • deducting the total number of terminated employees in the month of applicant employer's selected reference date (if any);
  • adding the total number of staff hired but yet to contribute MPF in the month of applicant employer's selected reference date (if any); and
  • any other adjustments to the existing headcount number of the applicant employer.

c) details of the New Hire position(s) for which the applicant employer has filled after the selected reference date:

  • name and Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card number of the New Hire;
  • a copy of his/her Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card;
  • a copy of his/her proof of university qualification;
  • employment commencement date;
  • job title and basic monthly salary;
  • a copy of the employment contract; and
  • the declaration made by the New Hire.

After the application has been submitted, the applicant employer will normally be notified of the result within 4 to 6 weeks.

19.
How will applicants be notified of the status of the application?

During application processing, the applicant employer may be contacted by phone or email for clarification/confirmation in case of information ambiguity.

Once the application result is available, the applicant employer will be notified of the result via SMS and email. Applicant employers might check their spam/junk mail folder to identify any email from FSDC.

Applicant employers can also log in to the YOUTH application portal with their application reference and password to view the submitted information and latest application status. The YOUTH application portal is best viewed with the latest version of web browsers.

20.
What undertaking should an eligible employer make? How will the signing of the undertaking be arranged?

By making an application via the YOUTH application portal, the applicant employer undertakes the following (including but not limited to):

  • the applicant employer will monitor and reconcile its monthly actual number of employees with the relevant supporting records and report to FSDC in subsequent period when the New Hire(s) in fact no longer represents a net increase in the applicant’s number of employees from the base number of the employees as of the selected reference date;
  • the applicant employer will comply promptly with all reasonable requests for information from time to time raised by FSDC;
  • the applicant employer will use the entire subsidy amounts received from YOUTH for the basic fixed salary payment (excluding commission, bonus or any kind of variable pay, and must not be subject to net-off with commission, bonus or any kind of variable pay or to any contractual clawback) to New Hire(s) registered under YOUTH for each full month of employment, up to 12 months;
  • the applicant employer has not applied to and will not apply to more than one job creation or job support scheme financed by public funds for the same New Hire(s) for the same period; and
  • the applicant employer acknowledges that in the case of any non-compliance with, violation and/or breach of the conditions of YOUTH and/or of the Declaration and Undertakings by the applicant employer, FSDC reserves the right to notify the relevant regulatory bodies.

For the full version of Declaration and Undertakings, please refer to the Important Notes and Applicant Employer's Declaration and Undertakings in the YOUTH application portal.

21.
What undertaking should a New Hire under YOUTH make? How will the signing of the undertaking be arranged?

Before making an application via the YOUTH application portal, the New Hire is required to make a declaration through a declaration form downloadable in the YOUTH application portal. He/she should declare that:

  • he/she has no other employment and that he/she has not been employed by the applicant employer or any affiliate of that applicant employer within the past 12 months preceding the current employment with that applicant employer, except for part-time, intern or short-term contract staff of the applicant employer or any affiliate of that applicant employer;
  • he/she is not the spouse, a child, a parent or a sibling of a proprietor, a director or a partner of the applicant employer; and
  • he/she acknowledges and agrees with the provisions concerning personal data belonging to him/her from time to time provided to FSDC.

Coverage of subsidy and disbursement arrangements

22.
How much is the subsidy under YOUTH?

The subsidy for each approved New Hire will be HK$10,000 per month or the approved New Hire’s actual monthly basic salary, whichever is lower, for 12 months. Basic salary must be fixed, exclude commission, bonus or any kind of variable pay, and must not be subject to net-off with commission, bonus or any kind of variable pay or to any contractual clawback.

23.
When will the subsidy be disbursed?

The subsidy will be for each full month of actual employment, up to 12 months.

Approved employers are required to submit quarterly returns and supporting documents within 15 calendar days after each quarter end.

The subsidy disbursement process normally takes around 6 to 10 weeks after each quarterly return submission deadline.

24.
Is the approved employer required to make MPF/ORSO contributions for the New Hires under YOUTH?

The approved employer is required to make MPF/ORSO contributions for New Hires under YOUTH in accordance with the existing MPF Ordinance/ORSO Ordinance.

25.
Will FSDC carry out any monitoring work to prevent abuse or violations?

To ensure the public funds are utilised in an appropriate manner whilst avoiding unnecessary or practically ineffective steps in the administrative process, approved employers will need to make simple periodic filings and/or confirmations, such as MPF Remittance Statement and/or ORSO records and proof of salary payment to the New Hires.

When applying for the government subsidies under YOUTH, applicant employers should also make sure their undertakings can be relied upon and a breach thereof will have consequences.

26.
Is the subsidy paid under YOUTH taxable?

Tax exemptions in respect of relief measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund (“AEF”) came into operation on 29 May 2020. Businesses are exempt from the payment of profits tax in respect of the financial assistance received under the AEF for creating time-limited jobs. That said, wages earned by the New Hires are treated as income chargeable to salaries tax under the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

Legal liabilities of applicant employer

27.
What are the legal liabilities of applicant employers?

Applicant employers must provide true, complete and accurate information when making the applications, otherwise, the relevant applications may be rendered invalid, rejected and/or disqualified. Appropriate monitoring and auditing mechanisms are in place under YOUTH. During and after the vetting of applications, FSDC will verify the information submitted by the applicant employers. Any applicant employer who is found to have made a false statement, misinterpreted or concealed the facts, or furnished false or misleading documents or information to FSDC in an attempt to deceive FSDC is a criminal offence, and could be subject to criminal prosecution.

Enquiry and reporting of any illegal or suspicious activities

28.
What can an applicant do if he/she needs assistance in submitting the application?

Applicants may seek assistance via the following channels:

  • YOUTH Hotline: (852) 3612 9936 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays)
  • Email: youth@fsdc.org.hk
29.
How may the employees and the public report any illegal or suspicious activities?

Employees and the public can report any illegal or suspicious activities via channels in FAQ 28.

In case of any non-compliance with/ violation of the conditions of FIRST or breach of the undertakings and declaration by the applicant employer, FSDC reserves the right to notify the relevant regulatory bodies.

Remarks

The FAQs provided are for reference only. FSDC may amend any FAQ to cater for different circumstances and does not accept any responsibilities to the applicants and any third-parties in connection with any amendments to the FAQs. The FAQs have been translated into Chinese. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the English version and the Chinese version, the English version shall prevail.

Contact Us

ENQUIRY (YOUTH) YOUTH@fsdc.org.hk 
HOTLINE (YOUTH) +852 3612 9936