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Licence renewal of employment agency refused
     A spokesman for the Labour Department (LD) today (February 20) reminded operators of employment agencies (EAs) to conduct their business in compliance with the law and the Code of Practice for EAs at all times.

     The LD recently refused to renew the licence of an EA named JK Company (located in Mong Kok), which has failed to meet the standards set out in the Code in many aspects, such as failing to draw up service agreements with foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and their employers.  

     The spokesman said, "The Code sets out the salient legislative 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 Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of the LD conducts regular and surprise inspections of EAs and issues warning letters to EAs for contraventions of the Code, so as to rectify any irregularities detected. As JK Company failed to comply with the Code despite warnings, the commissioner refused to renew the EA's licence on the grounds that the licensee concerned was not a fit and proper person to operate an EA under section 53(1)(c)(v) of the Employment Ordinance (EO)."

     He added, "According to the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 (the Ordinance) that came into effect on February 9, sections 53(1)(c)(iva), 53(1)(d)(iii) and 53(1)(e)(ii) further empower the commissioner to refuse to issue or renew a licence, or to revoke a licence, if the licensee or the person intending to be the licensee, or a related person of or an individual employed by the licensee or the person intending to be the licensee, has not complied with a code of practice issued under section 62A(1) of the Ordinance."

     This is the first refusal to renew an EA licence this year. In 2017, an EA named Java Maid Recruitment Service (located in Causeway Bay) had its licence revoked after its licensee was convicted of overcharging a job seeker, and a further four EAs named Sunday Employment Agency (located in Prince Edward), Chun Hing Agency (located in Sham Shui Po), In On Domestic Employment (located in Kwai Chung) and Festival City Employment Service Co Limited (located in Tai Wai) also had their licences revoked for contravening the Code by luring employers of FDHs to recover their fees paid by deducting part of wages from FDHs, withholding passports from FDHs without reasonable excuse, failing to draw up service agreements with job seekers and employers, and greatly failing to meet the standards set out in the Code, and therefore the licensees were considered not fit and proper to operate an EA. Another EA (only a Chinese name is available, please refer to the Chinese version of the press release) (located in Mong Kok) also had its licence renewal refused because its nominated operator was an undischarged bankrupt.

     For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operation, overcharging job seekers' commission by EAs and the Code, please call the EAA at 2115 3667, or visit its office at Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon.
Ends/Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:18
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