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Employment agency convicted of unlicensed operation
     The Labour Department (LD) has reminded persons who wish to operate employment agencies (EAs) to be properly licensed before operation or they may face prosecution.

     The reminder came after a company was convicted and fined $4,900 for operating an EA (under the business name Gracefield Employment Service Limited in Tsim Sha Tsui) without a valid licence at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (February 16).

     In October 2016, the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of the LD received a complaint against the company concerned from an employer seeking to engage a foreign domestic helper. Investigation revealed sufficient evidence that the operator had operated an EA without a licence. With the complainant willing to act as prosecution witness, the LD then took out prosecution against the operator.

     According to the law, any establishment or person operating a business in Hong Kong for the purpose of obtaining employment for another person or supplying personnel to an employer is subject to the regulation of Part XII of the Employment Ordinance (EO) and the Employment Agency Regulations. Irrespective of the modus operandi or the job types involved, all EAs must obtain a licence issued by the LD before undertaking any EA activities.

     This is the first conviction under Part XII of EO relating to unlicensed operation this year. The EAs that were convicted of overcharging jobseekers or unlicensed operation last year were Marks Domestic Helper Agency Limited (located in Tsuen Wan), Ka Ying Employment Agency (located in Cheung Sha Wan), Enoch Employment Agency (located in Wan Chai), Gold Union Employment Agency (located in Fanling), Jen's Employment Agency Limited (located in Tsuen Wan), Ursula Advanced Employment Center (located in Causeway Bay), Tamas Employment Agency (located in Tai Wai) and a person operating an EA without a licence in Fanling.

    The LD reminds EAs to operate in full compliance with the law at all times. 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 EAA at 2115 3667 or visit its office on Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon.
Ends/Thursday, February 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
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