The Labour Department is seeking legal advice on ATV's overdue salary payments and "is not ruling out" prosecution of the cash-strapped broadcaster, according to Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. The free-to-air television station owes its 800 employees their November pay cheques, totalling about HK$15 million. The broadcaster's management has urged its shareholders to invest or loan money to resolve the crisis and has said it is looking for prospective new investors. "With regard to the overdue wage payment of ATV, the government is highly concerned. We are seeking advice from the Department of Justice and are not ruling out prosecution," Cheung said. "In response to some staff members' requests, officers from the Labour Department will visit ATV and brief them on their labour rights and explain to them the procedures through which they can claim back their wages, including the possibility of seeking help from the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund." It is the second time in three months that ATV has failed to pay its employees on time. It failed to issue September pay cheques until late October, prompting the government to issue it with a warning. Under the Employment Ordinance, an employer must pay its employees within seven days of the expiry of the wage period. The High Court ruled two weeks ago that two independent supervisors should be appointed to the broadcaster's board. They would be tasked with finding an independent company to buy 10.75 per cent of ATV's shares from Panfair Holdings, a business controlled by ATV's majority shareholder Wong Ben-koon. There are also concerns about whether the government will renew ATV's licence, which expires in November next year.