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Man fined $11k for operating unlicensed agency

17 March 2021

By The SUN 

The offender offered to place a foreign domestic helper with complainant

A man was convicted and fined $11,250 at West Kowloon Court on Tuesday, Mar 16, for operating an unlicensed employment agency. The agency’s name and address was not disclosed.

The Labour Department said in a press release that it prosecuted the man after its Employment Agencies Administration received a complaint against him from an employer who was hiring a foreign domestic helper.

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The statement did not disclose what the complaint was about, but an investigation showed the man was operating an unlicensed agency. With the complainant willing to act as prosecution witness, the LD proceeded with the case.

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Under the Employment Ordinance which came into force on Feb 9, 2018, the maximum penalty for unlicensed operation of an agency and overcharging of jobseekers commissions was raised to a fine of $350,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.


Following the man’s conviction, the LD reminded members of the public to deal only with licensed employment agencies. Agencies that operate without a license are liable to prosecution.


“All establishments or persons operating a business in Hong Kong for the purpose of obtaining employment for another person or supplying personnel to an employer are governed by Part XII of the Employment Ordinance and the Employment Agency Regulations,” the department said in its statement.


“Irrespective of the modus operandi or the types of jobs involved, all EAs must obtain a licence issued by the LD before undertaking any agency activities. Except for the licence holder or his associate, no one shall operate, manage or assist in the management of an EA. Offenders may face prosecution.”        


The LD also reminded all employment agencies to fully comply with the law as well as the Code of Practice for EAs, as failure to do so may lead to prosecution and/or revocation of licence. 

To check the list of licensed employment agencies, follow this link:

For enquiries or complaints about unlicensed operation or overcharging of commissions by agencies, contact 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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