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Agency owner loses licences for two companies after overcharging Filipina jobseeker

22 May 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Agency owners may lose more than just one license if they overcharge job applicants   
All it took was one count of overcharging a job applicant for one agency owner to lose the licenses of his two companies.

Last May 19, the Commissioner for Labour revoked the license of K&H Employment Agency over an incident that happened nearly two years ago, which led to its sister company, Kai Sing Employment Agency, being deprived of its license.

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Both agencies were licensed in the name of one person.

According to a spokesperson for the Labour Department, a Fillipina domestic helper approached Kai Sing for a job referral in August 2018.

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On May 8 last year, she filed a complaint with the Employment Agencies Administration that she was overcharged in placement fees by Kai Sing.

After investigation, Kai Sing was found to have overcharged the FDH by $1,648. Kai Sing's licensee was subsequently convicted on Jan 10 this year, and the license was revoked.

Since the licensee of Kai Sing was also the licensee of K&H Employment Agency, K&H’s license was also revoked by the Commissioner for Labour.

“Labour has all along been taking vigorous enforcement action in combating the malpractice of EAs. Apart from conducting routine and surprise inspections of the agencies, investigation will be initiated as soon as [the department receives] any complaint against them,” the spokesperson said.

“If there is sufficient evidence, prosecution will be instituted accordingly.”

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

He reitereated that employment agencies must not charge more than 10% of a jobseeker’s first monthly salary as commission.

Under the Employment Ordinance, any person who operates an agency without a license or any agency that charges more than a 10% of the jobseeker's first monthly salary faces a maximum sentence of $350,000 fine and imprisonment for three years.
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