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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 local workers at technician level or below.

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. ESLS does not accept applications for importation of labour from sectors and job categories covered by the Special Scheme to Import Care Workers for Residential Care Homes and other sector-specific labour importation schemes (construction and transport sectors).

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.

LD has uploaded the “List of Common Posts” covering the median monthly wage, working hours, entry requirements and duties of common posts in different industries for employers’ reference. If an employer uses the “Application Form for Common Posts” and fills in the information specified in the “List of Common Posts”, the preliminary screening will be expedited and employers can commence the four-week local recruitment exercise as soon as it is completed.

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/Employment Agencies

To enhance dissemination of application information to employers / employment agencies, LD will organise briefings for employers / employment agencies 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 / employment agencies are welcome to enroll.

  • For schedule of briefings for the employers / employment agencies 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 Common Posts”/ “Application Form for Non-Common Posts” 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)



2150 6363



2504 3160



ESLS Forms and Documents (Downloadable)

[Please note that ESLS has adopted new form(s) with effect from 2 May 2024.  Starting from 17 June 2024, LD will not accept applications using the old version of application form (ESLS-1).]

1) Forms:

Application Form for Common Posts (ESLS-1A)

(If an employer uses “Application Form for Common Posts” and fills in the information specified in the "List of Common Posts", the preliminary screening will be expedited and employers can commence the four-week local recruitment exercise as soon as it is completed.)

Application Form for Non-Common Posts (ESLS-1B)

please click [here] for eForm


please click [here] for eForm
Documents Checklist and Means of ApplicationESLS-1_Checklist
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)ESLS-1_Appendix1

please click [here] for eForm
Information of Full-time Local Employees (Appendix 2)ESLS-1_Appendix2

please click [here] for eForm
An authorisation letter (signed by sole proprietor/director/authorised partner with the applicant’s chop, if applicable) (Appendix 3)ESLS-1_Appendix3

please click [here] for eForm
Information of Imported Workers (Appendix 4)ESLS-1_Appendix4

please click [here] for eForm
Justifications for Labour Importation (Appendix 5)ESLS-1_Appendix5

please click [here] for eForm
Information of licence(s) / approval(s) required for lawful operation of business (Appendix 6)ESLS-1_Appendix6

please click [here] for eForm
2) Reference Materials: 
How to apply under Enhanced Supplementary Labour SchemeESLS_Pamphlet(Eng)
Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme - List of Common PostsESLS_LCP(Eng)
Standard Employment Contract (For an employee recruited from outside Hong Kong under the Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme) (Sample)ESLS_SEC(Eng)
Declaration and Authorisation Form (ESLS-11)ESLS-11
Notification of Termination of Employment Contract with Imported Workers (For Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme) (ESLS-13)ESLS-13
Requirements on placing recruitment advertisements during the local recruitment periodESLS_recruit(Eng)
3) Schedule of Briefings for Employers/Employment Agencies and Enrolment Form