Points to note when using the service of employment agencies
Under the laws of Hong Kong, all employment agencies are required to apply for licenses from the Employment Agencies Administration (EAA) before undertaking any job placement business. The licence is valid for one year. The names of the persons and agencies to whom licences have been issued in every year are published in the Gazette . Furthermore, to facilitate public’s access, EAA will regularly upload an updated list of employment agencies with valid licences at this website.
List of employment agencies
- The latest issue of Gazette with the names of the persons and agencies to whom licences have been issued
- Search for a licensed employment agency on the Employment Agencies Portal
If you suspect an employment agency is operating without a valid licence, please report to EAA. Any person who operates an employment agency without a licence or certificate of exemption issued by the Commissioner for Labour shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum penalty of $350,000 and imprisonment for 3 years.
Notes for employers
It is not the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s requirement that employers must recruit their foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) through employment agencies. Nonetheless, the respective FDH's home country may have such requirement and they vary across countries. For details and enquiries, please contact the relevant Consulate Generals. Below are some relevant Consulate Generals/ Honorary Consulates in Hong Kong for reference (arranged in alphabetical order):
- Sri Lanka
- Thailand (Labour Section)
Before using the service of an employment agency, employers should check if it holds a valid licence first. The list of employment agencies with valid licences can be found here. For enquiries, please contact EAA.
Furthermore, to protect employers’ rights as service customers, the Labour Department suggests employers to sign a written service agreement with the employment agency before engaging its service, specifying the relevant terms such as the details and scope of service provided, itemized fees, refund arrangements etc, and to obtain a receipt from the employment agency for any payments made. If the employer later considered that the employment agency failed to deliver the agreed service, or he/she is not satisfied with the quality of service provided, the service agreement would facilitate him/her in seeking appropriate redress from the relevant authorities (e.g. the Customs & Excise Department and the Consumer Council), or filing a civil claim against the employment agency concerned.
Notes for job-seekers
According to the law, other than the prescribed commission (which is currently set at 10% of the first-month salary of the job-seeker after successful placement), employment agency is prohibited from charging directly or indirectly from job-seekers any fees. Otherwise, the agency shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum penalty of $350,000 and imprisonment for 3 years. The Commissioner for Labour will also consider to revoke, or to refuse to renew, the licence of law-defying employment agencies.
To protect themselves, job-seekers should obtain a receipt from the employment agencies after they have paid the commission. Any job-seeker who is suspected of being overcharged by an employment agency should report to EAA as soon as possible.
Upon receipt of complaint against an employment agency which is suspected of contravening the Employment Ordinance and/or the Employment Agency Regulations, EAA will follow-up immediately. It may approach the complainant for an interview to obtain more details during the investigation process; or when it is decided that prosecution will be instituted against an employment agency for its suspected breach of law, EAA may invite the complainant to act as prosecution witness as and when necessary.
Address: Unit 906, 9/F, One Mong Kok Road Commercial Centre, 1 Mong Kok Road, Kowloon
Location Map of Employment Agencies Administration (From MTR Mong Kok Station Exit A2)