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Man fined $12k for operating unlicensed employment agency

23 June 2024


Employment agencies must abide by the law, as well as the Code of Practice 

A man was convicted at Eastern Court on Friday of operating an employment agency without a valid license, and as a result, was fined $12,000.

He was also ordered to refund the service fee of $1,795 to the employer who filed the complaint against him.

Operating an employment agency without a license is a violation of the requirements under Part XII of the Employment Ordinance (EO).


The irate employer who was seeking to hire a foreign domestic helper filed a complaint with the Labour Department against the defendant in March 2023.

Following an investigation the LD initiated a prosecution after finding enough evidence that showed the man was operating an agency without a license.

Under Part XII of the EO and the Employment Agency Regulations, all employment agencies must obtain a license from the LD before starting operations. Except for the license holder or his/her associates, no one is allowed to operate, manage or assist in the management of an EA.


Labour advised agencies to comply with the law as well as the Code of Practice for EAs at all times. Failure to do so may lead to prosecution and/or revocation of licence.

The maximum penalty for the offences of unlicensed operation of an EA or overcharging commissions from job seekers is a fine of $350,000 and imprisonment for three years.

 Any enquiries related to EAs, including suspected breach of the law or the Code of Practice may be directed to the the Employment Agencies Administration of the LD (telephone: 2115 3667; email:; address: Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road,

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