Employment agency convicted of overcharging foreign domestic helpers
A licensee of an employment agency (EA) was convicted of overcharging three foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) on January 5 and fined $15,000 at the Shatin Magistrates' Courts today (January 26). The Court also ordered the EA to refund the excessive placement fee totalling $2,638 to the three FDHs concerned.
In September 2017, the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of the Labour Department (LD) received a complaint from three FDHs against Familia Employment Agency in Tai Po for charging them an excessive amount of commission. As the FDHs concerned agreed to assist in the investigation, the LD decided to take out prosecution against the agency after gathering sufficient evidence through investigation.
According to the law, EAs are not allowed to collect from job seekers any fees or charges other than the prescribed commission, which is set at no more than 10 per cent of the latter's salary in the first month upon successful placement.
Familia Employment Agency is the second EA to be convicted of overcharging this year. Earlier this year, an EA named Quality Consultants Agency in Tsim Sha Tsui was convicted of charging an FDH an excessive amount of commission for assisting her to look for a job placement overseas. In 2017, two EAs namely Java Maid Recruitment Service in Causeway Bay and Chun Hing Agency in Sham Shui Po were convicted of overcharging job seekers. Three other EAs, namely Gracefield Employment Service Limited in Tsim Sha Tsui, Enoch Employment Agency in Wan Chai and Blessings Employment Agency in Mong Kok, as well as a person in Mong Kok were convicted of unlicensed operation of an employment agency, whereas Ching Ling Employment Agency in North Point was convicted of operating and managing an EA at a place other than the place of business specified in its EA licence in the same year.
The LD reminds EAs to operate in full compliance with the law, as well as the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies at all times. Failure to do so may lead to prosecution and possible revocation of licences.
For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operation, on overcharging job-seekers' commission by EAs or concerning the Code, please call the EAA 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.