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Agency loses license for not issuing service agreement and receipts

21 December 2020

By The SUN 

Gracia agency was penalized by not drawing up agreements and issuing receipts

The Hong Kong Labour Department has revoked the license of an employment agency for failing to draw up service agreements with foreign domestic helpers and employers, and for not promptly issuing receipts for payments made by employers.

The errant agency was identified in a government press release as Gracia Trading & Services Co, located in Wan Chai.

The revocation of Gracia’s license comes after the Administrative Appeals Board dismissed the agency licensee’s appeal, the department said.

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The LD also reminded employment agency operators to conduct their business in compliance with the law and requirements of the Code of Practice for EAs at all times.

Gracia’s other violations were:

·         Failure to include all required items in the service agreements signed with helpers and employers;

·         Failure to include all required items in the payment receipts issued to employers;

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·         Failure to arrange for helpers and employers to sign an acknowledgement on receipt of publications and sample forms;

·         Failure to arrange both parties to confirm in writing that they have been fully briefed about their rights and obligations; and

·         Failing to keep records relating to the dealings with helpers and their employers, including acknowledgement of their receipt of the signed standard employment contract.

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Under the Employment Ordinance, the Commissioner for Labour may revoke the license of an EA if he is satisfied that the licensee has not complied with the Code.

“The Code sets out the salient legal requirements that agency operators must observe in operating their business, as well as the minimum standards which the Commissioner expects from EAs,” a spokesman for the LD said.

“The Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 that came into effect on Feb 9, 2018, stipulates that the Commissioner may … may revoke a license, if he is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the licensee … has contravened any provision of the EO, such as overcharging job seekers or operating an agency without a licence, or has not complied with the Code issued under section 62A(1) of the EO,” the spokesman said.


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This was the 10th revocation/refusal of renewal of an agency license since 2019. In the first 11 months of 2020, the LD had revoked the licenses of three agencies. Three other cases of license revocation are pending a decision by the Administrative Appeals Board.
      
For enquiries about matters related to EAs or complaints about alleged malpractices, call the Employment Agencies Administration of the LD 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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