Employment agencies have again been warned against collecting any fees from jobseekers other than the 10% commission on the latter’s first month’s salary upon successful placement as prescribed by law.
The Labour Department said in a press release that failure to do so could lead to prosecution and possible revocation or refusal of renewal, of the agencies’ licenses.
The department issued the warning after the licensee of 3sion Employment Agency in Tin Hau was convicted and fined $6,000 at Eastern Court recently for overcharging a jobseeker. The court also ordered 3sion to refund $7,389 to the jobseeker, the government said.
In July 2015, the Employment Agencies Administration received a complaint against 3sion for overcharging commission from a job-seeker.
An investigation revealed sufficient evidence that 3sion had collected excessive placement fees from a foreign domestic helper, and the agency was prosecuted.
“We are glad that the FDH concerned was willing to come forward to report her case to the EAA and act as prosecution witness,” a Labour Department spokesman said.
“The department will not tolerate any agencies overcharging jobseekers and will act promptly upon receipt of any complaints. Prosecution will be initiated when there is sufficient evidence and the Commissioner for Labour will consider revoking, or refusing to renew, an agency’s license upon its conviction,” the spokesman said.
He urged jobseekers who suspect that they had been overcharged by agencies to report their case to the EAA as soon as possible and act as prosecution witnesses.
3sion is the ninth employment agency that has been convicted of overcharging this year. Its license expired in November and the commissioner will consider refusing to renew it, the spokesman said.
The other eight agencies convicted of overcharging this year are Bagus Employment Agency in Central, Satisfactory Employment & Travel Centre Ltd in Tai Wai, Vicks Maid Consultant Co in Sha Tin, Joyce Agency in Kwai Chung, Maidhouse Employment Agency Co Ltd in Tsuen Wan, Smile Sunshine Employment Ltd in North Point, Shun Tat Employment Agency Co in Causeway Bay and Artellect Ltd in Tuen Mun.
For enquiries or complaints call the EAA at 2852 3535 or visit its office on 12/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong.