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2 Filipinas cleared while Indon fined for overcharging jobseeker

03 July 2020

By The SUN
Only $500 was involved in the case of the 2 Filipinas charged with excessive collection of agency fees

An Indonesian woman who claimed to be a staff of an employment agency was fined $3,600 today, Jul 3, at Kowloon City Court for overcharging a jobseeker.

In contrast, two Filipina staff of another employment agency were acquitted last week of collecting $500 from a job applicant instead of the $452, or 10% of her first salary which she should have paid, a difference of just $48.
Magistrate Dick Lee cleared Juliet Balicao and Melanie Fisher of a charge of “excessive commission” filed by the Employment Agencies Administration following a complaint of overcharging made by Filipina job seeker, Maribel Madeja.

Madeja, who was placed by the two between January and February last year, said the $500 was collected by the agents as guarantee that she would return to Hong Kong after going home for an emergency.
She claimed she was charged an additional $500 by the two for their services when she went back to the agency.

The magistrate, however, rejected the domestic helper’s evidence as incredible and unreliable.
 
Kowloon City Court ruled on the excessive fee collection against Best Ka Hei
In today’s case, Indonesian Sri Utami, who reportedly introduced herself as a staff of Best Ka Hei Employment Agency, was fined by Kowloon City magistrate Erica Chong for charging an excessive commission from a job applicant.

A government press release did not state the amount that was collected from the complainant.

The jobseeker filed a complaint in April 2019 against Utami and a staff of the agency which has an office in Kowloon City, and the Employment Agencies Administration decided to prosecute.


The agency’s staff was prosecuted in Kowloon City Court earlier and fined $3,000 after conviction.

Under the Employment Ordinance, an agency licensee, his associate, or a person purporting to act in such capacities, is not allowed to collect more than 10% of a job applicant’s monthly salary upon successful placement.
    
The Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2018, which took effect on Feb 9, 2018, has raised the maximum penalty for overcharging job seekers to a fine of $350,000 and imprisonment for three years.
    
For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operations or overcharging by employment agencies, call the EAA at 2115 3667, or visit its office at Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon.

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