Go to main content
Employment agency convicted of operating at place other than place of business specified in licence
     The Labour Department (LD) reminds persons who wish to operate employment agencies (EAs) to operate at the place of business specified in the licence issued in respect of the employment agency or they may face prosecution.

     A person was convicted and fined $1,500 at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (November 16) for operating and managing an EA (named Ching Ling Employment Agency) at a place other than the place of business as specified in its EA licence.

     In June 2016, the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of the LD received a complaint against the person concerned from a foreign domestic helper. With the complainant agreeing to assist in the investigation, which revealed sufficient evidence that the operator had operated the EA at a place other than that specified in the licence, the LD took out prosecution against the operator.

     According to the law, no person shall operate, manage or assist in the management of an EA at any place other than the place of business specified in the licence issued in respect of the EA.

     This is the sixth conviction under Part XII of the Employment Ordinance this year. Three EAs, namely Gracefield Employment Service Limited (located in Tsim Sha Tsui), Enoch Employment Agency (located in Wan Chai) and Blessings Employment Agency (located in Mong Kok), were convicted of unlicensed operation of an EA, whereas one EA named Java Maid Recruitment Service (located in Causeway Bay) was convicted of overcharging job seekers earlier this year. Furthermore, a person was also convicted of operating an EA without a valid licence in Mong Kok.

     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.

     EAs are also reminded to comply with the Code of Practice for EAs, which was promulgated on January 13. The Code sets out the salient legislative requirements which EA operators must observe in their businesses, as well as the minimum standards which the Commissioner for Labour expects of EA licensees. The EAA will conduct regular and surprise inspections at EAs and issue warning letters on EAs' contraventions of the Code for rectification of irregularities detected. The Commissioner may exercise his power under section 53(1)(c)(v) of the EO, if satisfied that the licensee concerned is not a fit and proper person to operate an EA, to refuse to issue or to renew, or even to revoke, an EA's licence.

     In addition, the Government has introduced an Amendment Bill into the Legislative Council, in which it proposes to raise the penalty for the offence of overcharging job seekers from the current maximum fine of $50,000 to a maximum fine of $350,000 and imprisonment of three years so as to raise the deterrent effect. The Bill also proposes to extend the criminal liability of the overcharging offence to cover certain persons associated with the licensee, including the management of EAs and persons employed by the EAs. Job seekers will be afforded better protection upon the passage of the Bill.

     For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operation, on overcharging job seekers' commission by EAs or concerning the Code, please call the EAA of the LD at 2115 3667, or visit its office at unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon.
Ends/Thursday, November 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:55
Today's Press Releases