Labour revokes agency’s license for keeping worker’s passport to force her to pay loan

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One Mong Kong Road Commercial Centre, where the HK Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) holds office. (Photo: Google Maps)

The Labour Department (LD) has revoked the license of an employment agency in Tsuen Wan for keeping the passport of a worker to force her to pay a loan, an LD spokesman said yesterday (January 24).

The spokesman said Labour revoked the license of Happy J Employment Agency for “severe violations” of the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies.

Happy J. violated the codes provisions against employment agencies (EAs) getting involved in the financial affairs of a job seeker, withholding the passport of the job seeker in order to force her to make payment or repayment to a financial institution, and failing to send a signed copy of the Standard Employment Contract to the job seeker as soon as practicable.

“The Code sets out the salient legal requirements that EA operators must observe in operating their business, as well as the minimum standards which the Commissioner (for Labour) expects of EAs,” the spokesman said.

He said an amendment to the Employment Ordinance that took effect on February 9, 2018 empowered the Commissioner to refuse to issue or renew a license or to revoke the license of culpable agencies.

Labour said Happy J was the seventh agency who license was revoked or not renewed by the Commissioner for Labour.

Previously, Familia Employment Agency located in Tai Po and My Friends Service Limited located in Tsuen Wan had their licenses revoked after their licensees were convicted of overcharging job seekers.

Three other EAs, namely Tin Wai Employment Company Limited located in Mong Kok and Tuen Mun; Good Family Employment Agency Company Limited located in Kennedy Town, and Galaxy Maid Employment Consultants Limited located in Central and Causeway Bay, had their licenses revoked.

Labour revoked the license of Tin Wai Employment Company Limited for violating the Code and providing misleading information during the inspections and enquiries of the LD.

Good Family Employment Agency Company Limited was closed down for getting involved in the financial affairs of job seekers, failing to issue payment receipts to foreign domestic helpers (FDHs), and having the management fail to closely supervise its staff.

On the other hand, the license of Galaxy Maid Employment Consultants Limited was revoked  after it failed to include all required items in the service agreements with FDHs and their employers, failing to keep the written confirmations from FDHs and their employers declaring that they had been briefed about their statutory rights and obligations as well as the content of the Standard Employment Contract by the EA, and failing to keep records on the dealings with employers.

Another EA, JK Company in Mong Kok, had its licence renewal application refused because its licensee had contravened the Code by failing to draw up service agreements with FDHs and their employers.

For enquiries or complaints about malpractices of EAs, please call the LD’s Employment Agencies Administration 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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