Labour Department revokes licenses of two employment agencies

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Shatin Magistrates Courts

THE Labour Department (LD) has closed down two employment agencies (EA) for various offences, including overcharging three foreign domestic workers.

The LD said it revoked the licenses of Galaxy Maid Employment Consultants Limited, with offices in Central and Causeway Bay and Familia Employment Agency in Tai Po, for violating HK labor laws and the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies.

Labour on August 7 said it revoked the licence of Familia Employment Agency, which is located in Tai Po, after its licensee was convicted earlier of overcharging three job seekers.

Under Hong Kong law, recruiters are allowed to collect fees but these should not exceed 10 percent of the worker’s first month salary.

Familia was convicted on January 5 of overcharging three foreign domestic helpers and was fined $15,000 at the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts.

The court also ordered the agenccy to refund the excessive placement fees totalling $2,638 that it collected from the domestic workers.

The three victims had filed a complaint against Familia in September 2017 at the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA).

“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,” the department said.

Then on August 14, the LD revoked the licence of Galaxy Maid for failing to include all required items in the service agreements for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and their employers, failing to keep the written confirmation of FDHs and their employers that they had been briefed about their statutory rights and obligations as well as the content of the Standard Employment Contract, and failing to keep records relating to the dealings with employers.

“Despite repeated warnings, (Galaxy Maid) was unable to rectify the irregularities detected. The Commissioner for Labour was satisfied that the licensee concerned has not complied with the Code and revoked the licence of the EA,” Labour said.

The LD said Familia and Galaxy were the fourth and fifth agencies closed down this year after their license was revoked or their license application was rejected by the EAA.

“Previously, two EAs—namely Tin Wai Employment Company Limited (with offices in Mong Kok and Tuen Mun) and Good Family Employment Agency Company Limited (in Kennedy Town) had their licences revoked,” the LD said.

It said the agencies were shut down for various offenses like providing misleading information during EAA inspections, for being involved in the financial matters of job seekers, failing to issue payment receipts to Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDHs), and having the management fail to closely supervise all its staff.

The LD said another agency, JK Company in Mong Kok, had its licence renewal application refused because its licensee had failed to draw up service agreements with FDHs and their employers

For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operation, overcharging job seekers’ commission by EAs and the Code, please call the EAA at 2115 3667, or visit its office at Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon.

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