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Employer fined $6k for making FDH pay for quarantine and agency fee

25 November 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Tangub happily shows off her brand-new employment visa 

A Saikung employer who charged her Filipina domestic helper the cost of her hotel quarantine and part of the agency fee for her placement, has been convicted and fined $6,000 by the Kwun Tong Court for breaches of the Employment Ordinance.

Victory was doubly sweet for Ann Gerette Tangub, as she was issued an employment visa on Wednesday, Nov 24, by the Immigration Department so she could finally move in with her new employer.


But it was also a bittersweet because Tangub has been jobless since Apr 25, or a total of seven months, while she pursued her claim against her employer, Sung Yuki Kathy, who also allegedly caused her to be sent to a psychiatric ward after firing her.

Tangub now looks forward to being paid a total of $21,310.32 that she is claiming from Sung in a case she filed with the Labour Tribunal.

In a letter sent to her by the Labour Department’s Prosecutions Division, Tangub was told that legal action was taken against the employer based on her complaint.


While the letter did not specify the charges against Sung in two summonses Labour prosecutors had lodged with the court, it said the employer was convicted of the offences.

“You have provided information and completed a statement to this department to report the suspected breach of the Employment Ordinance against your ex-employer,” the letter said.

“The department has taken out prosecution against the employer. The case concluded on 11 November 2021 at Kwun Tong Magistrates Courts. The magistrate convicted the defendant and ordered a total fine of $6,000,” the Labour prosecutors said.


The letter also said the court has ordered Sung to pay the deducted wages through the Magistrate’s Courts.

“The courts will approach you for collection of the sums once they received payment from the defendant,” the letter concluded.

The illegal deductions refer to the $1,500 that Sung  made Tangub pay over three months this year, saying the helper needed to pay half of the $7,800 fee collected by the employment agency.


Tangub is also claiming the $4,280 that she had paid in advance for her 14-day quarantine on arrival in Hong Kong, $4,630 for a month’s salary in lieu of notice, arrears in wages amounting to $4,012.66; $2,469.33 for working partly on 16 of her rest days, air ticket of $3,200, reimbursement for $590 for food purchased, annual leave pay of $374.55, statutory holiday pay of $153.78, $100 food allowance and $180 hospital fee.

Labour's letter to Tangub informing her of the successful prosecution of her ex-employer

The distraught helper filed a complaint with the Labour Department on Jun 18 about the employer’s shabby treatment of her, starting from when she recruited from Manila on Jun 15 last year, until the night of Apr 25 when she was fired summarily.

On the day she sacked Tangub, Sung even called the police to get the helper taken by ambulance to Tseung Kwan O Hospital as purportedly a psychiatric case.

The Filipina sought help from Pieter Nootenboom, founder of the migrant support group, HKOFW, to resist her hospitalization for which she even had to pay the $180 admission fee, and get back at her employer.


The worker claimed that Sung deducted $500 each month from her salary for February, March and April, saying this was to pay for her half-share in the agency fee.

As for the quarantine hotel cost, Tangub said she reluctantly agreed to pay for it as she had waited for six months to get to Hong Kong, and was afraid of the employer backing out.

After finishing her quarantine, the helper joined her employer at her house in Ha Yeung Village, Clearwater Bay.

Tangub said it was only then that she realized that apart from serving Sung and her young daughter, she would also work for the employer’s friend Gigi and her driver. She also said the address where she worked was different from that on her contract.

She also complained about being required to work for a total of eight hours, before leaving for her day-off and on her return.

The helper furnished the Immigration Department with a copy of her labour complaint against Sung, with an offer to give evidence if they decide to investigate her for possible breaches of immigration laws

For now, Tangub said she would attend to all matters that she has to do concerning her cases against Sung before joining her new employer. She said she will also follow up on the resumption of her stalled claim at the Labour Tribunal.

At the last hearing on Jul 7 the tribunal officer left his decision hanging on Tangub’s claims for working partly on 16 of her rest days and her having paid for her quarantine.

In the initial hearing, the helper rejected Sung’s offer to pay for 25 days’ wages, $100 food allowance and $180 hospital fee.


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