Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme
The Work Incentive Transport Subsidy (WITS) Scheme helps low-income earners reduce their cost of travelling to and from work and encourages them to secure or stay in employment.
Note: The Government has announced in the 2018-19 Budget an initiative to provide a one-off extra allowance to recipients of WITS. The Appropriation Bill 2018 (the Bill) was passed on 10 May 2018 and the Labour Department is adjusting its computer system for effecting payment as soon as possible.
Under the arrangement, recipients of WITS whose applications have been made in the Applicable Period (from 1 November 2017 to 10 May 2018, i.e. the first day of the month in which the Bill is passed to the date of passage of the Bill; and the six calendar months before that month) and eventually approved would be eligible for the one-off extra allowance. The extra allowance is equal to two times the average monthly amount payable to the recipients in their most recently approved WITS applications. It is expected that the above-mentioned extra allowance would be disbursed a month after the passage of the Bill at the earliest. The payment would be made through the existing allowance payment methods (i.e. normally through autopay arrangement to the designated bank accounts of the recipients). Recipients are not required to make separate applications. Besides, if recipients of WITS meet the relevant eligibility criteria for the Caring and Sharing Scheme, they may make an application under that Scheme.
For enquiries, please call the 24-hour hotline 2717 1771 (handled by 1823) of the WITS Scheme or make use of the counter enquiry service of the WITS Division of the Labour Department at Unit 1225, 12/F, Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay.
Upon the implementation of the Working Family Allowance (WFA) Scheme (previously called the Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme) on 1 April 2018, the household-based WITS was abolished on the same date. As such, from the claim month of April 2018 onwards, the WITS Scheme only accepts individual-based applications. Eligible applicants may choose to apply for WFA and/or the individual-based WITS. Household-based applicants can apply for WITS up to the claim month of March 2018 only and such applications can be submitted in April 2018 at the earliest.
Furthermore, upon completion of upgrading its information technology systems, the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency will take up the processing of individual-based WITS applications currently performed by the Labour Department (expected to be on 1 April 2019 at the earliest) to bring about more efficient and convenient service provision to applicants. The Government will announce the details later.
How to Apply
- Applicants may apply for WITS for the previous 6 to 12 months in each application. WITS is granted according to the calendar month and applicants will receive the subsidy for each eligible month.
- For the convenience of applicants, applications
can be submitted by post and WITS is paid through bank transfer.
- Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- being employed or self-employed, and lawfully employable in Hong Kong;
- incurring travelling expenses in commuting to and from work;
- meeting the monthly income and asset limits (please refer to Appendix); and
- working no less than 72 hours per month (if applying for full-rate subsidy of $600 per month) or working less than 72 hours but at least 36 hours per month (if applying for half-rate subsidy of $300 per month).
- Applicants will not concurrently receive other similar employment-related transport subsidies provided by the Government including:
- Temporary Financial Aid for travelling expenses to and from work under the employment assistance projects and special grants covering travelling expenses to and from work for the elderly, persons in ill-health and those disabled provided under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme; and
- Temporary Financial Aid for travelling expenses to and from work under the case management and employment support services of Labour Department Employment in One-stop.
- Full-time students and trainees not in employment are not eligible for WITS.
- For arrangements related to the Working Family Allowance, please refer to the Additional Information for Guidance Notes on Applications under the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme.
Deadline for Application
The maximum claim period is the preceding 12 months. For example, application for subsidy starting from July 2017 should be submitted on or before 31 July 2018, and so on. Overdue claim months will not be granted subsidy.
Individual-based applicants should submit Individual Application Form. Household-based applicants who apply for WITS up to the claim month of March 2018 should submit one Household Application Form for each household.
Distribution Points of Application Documents
Submission of Application
Addresses and Service Hours of the Labour Department’s WITS Division and Headquarters
Unit 1225, 12/F, Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay
(free shuttle bus stop is located outside Hang Seng Tower in Telford Plaza 2, via Exit A of MTR Kowloon Bay Station)
Monday to Friday
(9:00a.m. – 6:15p.m.)
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
Labour Department’s Headquarters
(with Application Drop-in Box)
17/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong
For submission of application by post, please affix sufficient postage and provide return address on the back of the envelope. Insufficient postage will lead to non-delivery of application to the Labour Department.
- 24-hour Enquiry Hotline: 2717 1771 (handled by “1823”)
- WITS Division of the Labour Department
(enquiry service and form-filling support service are provided)
Frequently Asked Questions
Leaflets of the WITS Scheme
Template of Application Form of the WITS Scheme
Press Releases on the WITS Scheme