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Employment agency fined for overcharging job seeker

     Smile Sunshine Employment Limited (located in North Point) was convicted and fined $10,000 at Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (August 21) for overcharging a job seeker.

     In March 2015, the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of the Labour Department (LD) received a complaint against Smile Sunshine for overcharging of commission from a job seeker. After investigation, there was sufficient evidence showing that the agency had collected excessive placement fees from a foreign domestic helper (FDH) and thus the LD took out prosecution procedures against the agency. According to the law, employment agencies (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.

     "We are glad that the FDH concerned was willing to come forward to report her case to the EAA and act as prosecution witness. Smile Sunshine is the sixth EA that has been convicted of overcharging this year," a spokesman for the LD said. "The LD will not tolerate any EAs overcharging job seekers and will act promptly upon receipt of any complaints. Any job seekers who are suspected of being overcharged by EAs should report their case to the EAA as soon as possible and act as prosecution witness."

     The other five agencies that were convicted of overcharging this year are Bagus Employment Agency (located in Central), Satisfactory Employment & Travel Centre Limited (located in Tai Wai), Vicks Maid Consultant Company (located in Sha Tin), Joyce Agency (located in Kwai Chung) and Maidhouse Employment Agency Co Limited (located in Tsuen Wan).

     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.

     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/Friday, August 21, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:38


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