Some 300 workers claimed failed to be covered by govt anti-epidemic subsidy

Around 300 workers including cleaners and security guards said they were not able to apply for the anti-epidemic subsidy, said the Cleaning Workers Union of the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association.

The Development Bureau announced on July 29 that financial support will be provided to frontline cleansing and security workers engaged by non-government works contractors or their subcontractors working at construction sites under the sixth round of the Anti-epidemic Fund.

The subsidy included a monthly allowance of HK$2,000 for five months (from February to June this year) and will be provided to eligible frontline cleansing and security workers to support their anti-epidemic efforts.

However, the Union claimed to receive around 300 requests for help recently from workers who cannot apply for the allowance.

“Some said they were not considered as ‘eligible’ for the fund by the scheme,” according to the union, “it didn't cover the rights of outsourced workers.”

The group of workers includes cleansing and security workers, office assistants, warehouse keepers, etc. Some who retired during the months with the allowance provided also claimed to be not eligible to apply for the fund.

The union urged the government to allow the workers to apply for the subsidy by themselves and set feedback channels for them to report their situation and ask for solutions.

Currently, the lists of applications for the scheme should be submitted by the principal contractors of non-government construction sites. Frontline cleansing or security workers are not required to submit applications on their own.