Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme
To alleviate the manpower shortage across different sectors, on 13 June 2023, the Chief Executive-in-Council endorsed to enhance the coverage and operation of the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS). To reflect its enhanced features, SLS is renamed as the Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme (ESLS).
Eligibility for Application
Employers carrying on business in Hong Kong with genuine difficulties in recruiting suitable staff locally.
Introduction of ESLS
Employers may apply to import workers at technician level or below to fill vacancies which they have genuine difficulties in recruiting suitable staff locally.
Employers must undertake a four-week local recruitment exercise for each vacancy under application. Concurrently, the Labour Department (LD) will provide active job matching for the vacancies to identify suitable local job-seekers for referral to the employers for interview.
Upon completion of the recruitment exercise, LD will invite members of the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) to give views on the recommendation of LD. After conducting comprehensive review of all relevant factors, including the views of LAB members, LD will determine whether to approve or refuse each application.
The duration of the employment contract of a worker imported under ESLS shall not be longer than 24 months. Imported workers must be paid no less than the median monthly wages of local workers in comparable positions. They shall be engaged under a Standard Employment Contract (SEC) and be accorded the same protection of the labour laws in Hong Kong as local workers.
Imported workers are only allowed to work for their employers and in the positions with job duties as specified in SEC. They must return to their place of origin on expiry of their contracts.
Administrative sanction in the form of withdrawal of approval for importation of labour will be imposed on an employer who is found to have breached relevant statutory provision(s) (including the Employment Ordinance, the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, the Immigration Ordinance and the occupational safety and health legislation), relevant requirements of ESLS or SEC. The employer will also be debarred from participation in the relevant scheme for up to two years.
The approval granted to an employer to import workers will not be automatically renewed. An employer who wishes to continue employing imported workers upon the expiry of their contracts are required to submit an application afresh to LD in advance.
Successful employers are required to pay a levy that goes to the Employees Retraining Board to augment the provision of training and retaining for local workers. The levy payable in a lump sum in respect of each imported worker is $400 multiplied by the number of months covered by the SEC up to a maximum of 24 months. It will be collected after the approval for importing workers and before the issue of visa/entry permit by the Director of Immigration. The levy is not refundable under any circumstances.
Briefing for Employers
To enhance dissemination of application information to employers, LD will organise briefings for employers to explain the information needed for submitting applications, points-to-note and the flow of application, as well as answering questions on the spot. Employers are welcome to enroll.
- For schedule of the employer briefings and enrolment form, please click [here]
Briefing for Imported Workers
Employers hiring imported workers are required to grant paid leave to each imported worker (including new recruits and those with employment contracts renewed) for attending an employment briefing, on the basis of each SEC signed, organised by LD within 8 weeks upon their arrival in Hong Kong.
- For details on briefings for imported workers, please click [here].
Application & Enquiries
Please refer to the “How to apply under Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme” and “Points to Note” in the application form for details of the application procedures before filing an application.
For enquiries on ESLS, please contact the Supplementary Labour Division of LD:
Rm 929, 9/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices,
303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon
(Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 6:15pm)
ESLS Forms and Documents (Downloadable)
|Application Form (ESLS-1)
please click [here] for eForm
|Documents Checklist and Means of Application
|Declaration of Supplementary Information on Application for Importation of Workers under the Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme (ESLS) (Only Applicable to Sole Proprietor or Partnership Firm) (Appendix 1)
|Information of Full-time Local Employees (Appendix 2)
|A plan to recruit and train up local workers to fill the post(s) under application (Appendix 3)
|An authorisation letter signed by sole proprietor/director/authorised partner with the applicant’s chop to authorise the person-in-charge to submit and handle the application (if applicable) (Appendix 4)
|Information of Imported Workers (Appendix 5)
|Justifications for Labour Importation (Appendix 6)
|Information of licence(s) / approval(s) required for lawful operation of business (Appendix 7)
|2) Reference Materials:
|How to apply under Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme
|Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme - List of Common Posts
|Standard Employment Contract (For an employee recruited from outside Hong Kong under the Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme) (Sample)
|Declaration and Authorisation Form (ESLS-11)
|Notification of Termination of Employment Contract with Imported Workers (For Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme) (ESLS-13)
|Requirements on placing recruitment advertisements during the local recruitment period
|3) Employer Briefing Schedule and Enrolment Form