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Press Release

Suspension of collection of the Employees Retraining Levy

To help alleviate the financial burden of employers of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and other imported workers, the Government has proposed to suspend the collection of the Employees Retraining Levy (levy) for a period of two years.

Amendment of the Schedule to the Employees Retraining Ordinance is required to implement the suspension of the collection of levy. The Government will introduce the amendment as soon as possible, and expect the subsidiary legislation to take effect on September 1, 2008 after seeking the approval of the Executive Council.

A Government spokesman said, "The suspension will be applicable to all cases where the visa for the FDH/ imported labour is granted by the Immigration Department between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2010, including renewal of existing contracts and signing of new employment contracts."

The spokesman stressed that employers of FDHs who could not benefit immediately from the measure would still be able to enjoy levy suspension for a period of two years when they renew the contracts of their serving FDH or hire a new one at any point in time during the suspension period.

For visas of FDHs/ imported labour granted before September 1, 2008, employers should continue to pay the levy as required under the legislation until the end of the existing contracts.

The Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Immigration Department are in the process of working out other details and will announce them as soon as possible.

Ends/Thursday, July 17, 2008