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Employment agency fined for overcharging job seeker

     Maidhouse Employment Agency Co Limited (located in Tsuen Wan) was convicted and fined $1,500 at Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Courts on August 13 for overcharging a job seeker. The company was also ordered to refund excessive placement fees of $2,000 to the job seeker via the court.

     Maidhouse is the fifth employment agency (EA) that has been convicted of overcharging this year. The other four agencies are Bagus Employment Agency (located in Central), Satisfactory Employment & Travel Centre Limited (located in Tai Wai), Vicks Maid Consultant Company (located in Sha Tin) and Joyce Agency (located in Kwai Chung). Maidhouse no longer holds a valid licence for providing job-placement service as its licence has been cancelled.

     The Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of the Labour Department (LD) received a complaint against the EA concerned for overcharging of commission from a job seeker. Investigation revealed that the said agency had collected excessive placement fees from a foreign domestic helper (FDH). With sufficient evidence and the FDH-concerned acting as a prosecution witness, the LD was able to commence prosecution procedures against the agency.

     According to the law, EAs are not allowed to collect from job seekers any fees or charge other than the prescribed commission, which is set at 10 per cent of the latter's first month's salary upon successful placement.

     The LD reminds EAs to operate in full compliance with the law. Failure to do so may lead to prosecution and possible revocation of licences. The LD also encourages job seekers who are suspected of being overcharged by EAs to report their cases to the EAA as soon as possible and to act as prosecution witnesses. Upon receipt of complaints, the EAA will launch investigation promptly.

     For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operations or overcharging of commissions by EAs, please call the EAA at 2852 3535 or visit its office on 12/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Ends/Monday, August 17, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:06


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