Cancellation of licence of employment agency
A spokesman for the Labour Department (LD) today (September 9) reminded operators of employment agencies (EAs) to conduct their business in compliance with the law and the requirements of the Code of Practice for EAs (CoP) at all times.
In 2019, the Employment Agencies Administration of the LD received complaints from two foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) against an EA called Talent (Kenya) Company Limited for charging them an excessive commission. As the investigation revealed sufficient evidence that a staff member of the EA had overcharged the FDHs, the LD instigated prosecution against the EA staff member. After a trial, the EA staff member was convicted of overcharging an FDH and was sentenced to a fine of $8,000 on May 31, 2021, at Shatin Magistrates' Courts. The EA staff member then filed an appeal against the conviction and the appeal was dismissed by the High Court on September 6, 2022.
Under section 53(1) (e) (i) of the Employment Ordinance (EO), the Commissioner for Labour (Commissioner) may revoke the licence of an EA if he is satisfied on reasonable grounds that an individual employed by the licensee or by the person intending to be the licensee has contravened any provision of Part XII of the EO or any regulation made under section 62. Under section 53(1) (c) (iva), the Commissioner may revoke the licence of an EA if he is satisfied that on reasonable grounds that the licensee or the person intending to be the licensee has not complied with the CoP issued under section 62A(1). Paragraph 4.2.2 of the CoP provides that the licensee, company director(s), nominated operator and persons in senior management of an EA are required to closely supervise their staff. They will be held accountable for all acts and conduct of all their staff in relation to the provision of job-placement services even though they may not be the one(s) who failed to meet the statutory requirements and/or standards in the CoP.
Today, the LD received a letter dated yesterday (September 8), from the Talent (Kenya) Company Limited returning the EA licence to the LD upon its cessation of business on September 4. The Commissioner will cancel the licence of the EA according to Regulation 8 of the Employment Agency Regulations.
The LD will check whether the EA's operator, persons intending to be the EA's operator, and their related persons and staff employed have any relevant conviction record when processing applications for issue and renewal of an EA licence and change of operators of EAs so as to prevent offenders from operating EAs again.
For enquiries about matters related to EAs or complaints about their malpractice, please call the Employment Agencies Administration of the LD at 2115 3667, or visit its office at Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon.
Ends/Friday, September 9, 2022