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Agency owner fined for operating without license

03 June 2017

A Hong Kong employment agency owner was convicted on May 15 and fined $4,000 by the Kowloon City Court for operating the business without a valid license.

A Labour Department press release did not identify the agency owner, but a spokesman confirmed to The SUN on May 19 that the offender was Alice Tang Shuk-wai, who operated Blessings Employment Agency in Mong Kok.

The spokesman confirmed the case against Tang was lodged by the Employment Agencies Administration in the wake of a complaint for overcharging by a Filipina maid who was placed successfully by the agency owner for a domestic job in Mid-Levels.

The helper sought help from the industry regulator to recover her money.

She told The SUN in an interview last December that Tang charged her $16,000 for the service, but she paid only $10,000 and agreed to pay the balance through salary deduction.

The Labour report said the EAA received a complaint against Tang from the helper.

“With the complainant agreeing to assist in the investigation, which revealed sufficient evidence that the operator had operated an EA without a license, the LD then took out prosecution against the operator,” the report said.

The Labour spokesman, when contacted by The SUN, said Tang was prosecuted only for operating an agency without a license. Any claim for compensation against her will be dealt with separately, he said.

Hong Kong law requires that any establishment or person operating a business for the purpose of obtaining employment for another person or supplying personnel to an employer must obtain a license from the Labour Department prior to operation.

Labour said this was the third conviction relating to unlicensed employment agency operation this year.

In addition to Blessings, two other agencies – Gracefield Employment Service Ltd in Tsim Sha Tsui and Enoch Employment Agency in Wan Chai – were convicted of unlicensed operation of an EA earlier this year.

In 2016, eight agencies were convicted of overcharging jobseekers or unlicensed operation.

They were Marks Domestic Helper Agency Ltd in Tsuen Wan, Ka Ying Employment Agency in Cheung Sha Wan, Enoch Employment Agency in Wan Chai, Gold Union Employment Agency in Fanling, Jen’s Employment Agency Ltd in Tsuen Wan, which had been convicted twice, Ursula Advanced Employment Center in Causeway Bay, Tamas Employment Agency in Tai Wai, and a person operating an agency without a license in Fanling.

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