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Jen’s agency faces closure after being fined again for overcharging

25 November 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao

Jen's office in Tsuen Wan
An employment agency convicted of overcharging in September, was again found guilty by the Tsuen Wan Court on Nov 24 of charging two domestic helpers excessive fees.
Jen’s Employment Agency Ltd, located in Tsuen Wan, was also fined $26,000 and the Labour Department said it was now in the process of revoking the agency’s license.              
The two helpers, whose nationalities were not disclosed by Labour, filed complaints of overcharging in May against Jen’s with the Employment Agencies Administration, the department’s unit that regulates agencies.
They said Jen’s charged them excessive placement fees with employers in Hong Kong. Investigators found sufficient evidence against the agency and filed the charges.
“We are glad that the (helpers) concerned were willing to come forward to report their cases to EAA and act as prosecution witnesses,” a Labour spokesman said.
He said the department would not tolerate any employment agencies that overcharge jobseekers and would act promptly on any complaints received. 
“Jobseekers who suspected themselves of being overcharged by (agencies) should report their cases to EAA as soon as possible and act as prosecution witness,” he said.
Agencies are allowed to collect from jobseekers no more than 10% of the helper’s first monthly salary as commission.
This is the ninth conviction of a local agency for overcharging, and the second for Jen’s.
On Sept 1, Jen’s was convicted and fined $24,000 by the same court for charging a Filipina job applicant nearly 30 times the allowable commission of $411 at the time.
The other agencies that were convicted earlier this year are Marks Domestic Helper Agency Ltd located in Tsuen Wan, Ka Ying Employment Agency in Cheung Sha Wan, Enoch Employment Agency in Wan Chai, Gold Union Employment Agency in Fanling, Ursula Advanced Employment Center in Causeway Bay, Tamas Employment Agency in Tai Wai, and a man who operated an agency without a license in Fanling.
The Labour Department reminded agencies to comply fully with the law as their failure to do so could lead to prosecution and possible revocation of licenses.
For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operations or overcharging by agencies, 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.
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