Hong Kong to dole out cash subsidy for the unemployed
The Hong Kong government is planning to provide a cash subsidy of HK$10,000 (US$1,283) to those who have lost their jobs amid the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
The handouts are part of the city’s sixth round of anti-epidemic relief funds involving a total of HK$26 billion (US$3.34 billion).
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has described the allowance as a “groundbreaking” policy, adding that union leaders and lawmakers had told the government that the local job market had rapidly worsened after the Omicron variant hit Hong Kong, reports RTHK news.
The handouts will exclude workers who lost their jobs before the current wave of outbreaks began last December.
Workers working in high-risk roles such as cleaners, security guards and airport freight workers will also be receiving HK$10,000 in subsidy, which will be paid out across five months.
The government is also preparing legal changes that will consider employers who sack staff under quarantine or undergoing mandatory testing orders as an “unreasonable dismissal”, said Lam.
However, workers who are laid off for refusing to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations will not be protected under the Employment Ordinance.