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Hong Kong : Two employment agencies convicted of overcharging foreign domestic helpers.

Two employment agencies (EAs), namely Jen's Employment Agency Limited (Jen's) (located in Tsuen Wan) and Ursula Advanced Employment Center (Ursula) (located in Causeway Bay) were convicted for overcharging foreign domestic workers (FDHs) in the past two days.

Jen's was convicted and fined $24,000 at Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Courts on September 1 for overcharging a job seeker. It was also ordered by the Court to refund excessive placement fees of $5,589 to the job seeker.

The licensee of Ursula was also convicted and fined $30,000 at Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (September 2) for overcharging three job seekers. It was also ordered to refund excessive placement fees of $10,136 to the job seekers.

During March to May 2016, the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) of Labour Department (LD) received complaints from a FDH against Jen's and three FDHs against Ursula for being overcharged commission. Investigation revealed sufficient evidence that the two agencies had collected excessive placement fees from the four FDHs and thus LD took out prosecution actionsagainst the agencies.

"We are glad that the FDHs concerned were willing to come forward to report their cases to EAA and act as prosecution witnesses," a spokesman for LD said. "LD will not tolerate any EAs overcharging job seekers and will act promptly upon receipt of any complaints. Job seekers who suspected themselves of being overcharged by EAs should report their cases to EAA as soon as possible and act as prosecution witness."

"According to the law, EAs are not allowed to collect from job seekers any fees or charges other than the prescribed commission, with the maximum set at 10 per cent of the latter's first month's salary upon successful placement."

Jen's and Ursula are the fifth and sixth EAs that have been convicted of overcharging or unlicensed operationthis year. The other four EAs are 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) and Gold Union Employment Agency (located in Fanling).

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 3, 2016
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