Beleaguered broadcaster Asia Television is once again failing to pay staff on time, despite finding a new investor to pump money into the station. This emerged after staff complained to the media and made enquiries to the Labour Department yesterday about not having been paid last month’s wages. Employees from the news department said last night that no staff had received their August salaries. The news came after the free-to-air broadcaster’s executive director Ip Ka-po said in June that an agreement had been signed with an unnamed buyer to inject fresh capital. Ip said at the time that ATV would have a new chance of turning things around and “definitely salaries will no longer be a problem”. Yesterday was the first time since that assurance that ATV was seven days late in paying wages, opening itself up to further sanctions by the Labour Department after it was fined for a series of such offences last year and early this year. One employee suggested the latest delay might be due to the public holiday last Thursday to mark China’s victory over Japan. “I am not that worried. Our wages will finally come. I’m not confident about the [reported] new investor, but I am confident about the laws of Hong Kong,” he said. But another staff member was worried the company would enter a new cycle of breaking labour laws by repeatedly failing to pay wages on time. The station’s normal payment date is the last day of each month. However under Hong Kong law, it must pay within seven days after the end of a wage period. I am not that worried. Our wages will finally come ATV news employee The station had not fallen behind in paying its staff since January, but payments were not made until “the last minute”, the first worker said. The Labour Department said it would closely monitor whether ATV was able to pay before the seven-day wage period expired, and would follow up promptly and act according to the law if offences were committed. Anyone failing to pay wages on time faces a maximum fine of HK$350,000 and a jail term of three years if he or she is convicted. The cash-strapped broadcaster endured frequent salary delays last year. It failed to pay wages on time from September to January. The station was prosecuted by the Labour Department and fined a total of HK$690,000. The broadcaster started a recruitment drive after it reported that it had found new investors. But it did not identify who was injecting fresh cash into the station. Any change in the station’s shareholding requires approval from the Communications Authority. A spokesman for the authority said last night that it had not received any application from ATV. The government earlier decided that the broadcaster’s free-to-air television licence would be terminated in April next year.