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In Brief

Hong Kong amends Employment Ordinance to tighten regulatory oversight of recruitment agencies

23 February 2018
Mayer Brown JSM In Brief

Hong Kong recently amended part 12 of the Employment Ordinance (Cap 57) dealing with Employment Agencies and the Employment Agency Regulations (Cap 57A) to provide job-seekers with greater protection. The amendment came into force on 9 February 2018.

The main changes are as follows:

a) To increase the maximum penalty for unlicensed operation of an employment agency and overcharging commission to job-seekers from a fine of HK$50,000 to HK$350,000 and to imprisonment for three years;

b) To increase the time limit for lodging a complaint in respect of the two offences stated above in (a) to 12 months;

c) To broaden the scope of the offence of overcharging job-seekers to include not only the licensee, but also the recruitment agency’s associates (which includes director, manager, secretary and employee of a licensee); and

d) To provide new grounds for the Commissioner for Labour to refuse to issue/renew or revoke a licence, including non-compliance of the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies.

View the amended Ordinance


  • Duncan A. W. Abate
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  • Hong Tran
    T +852 2843 4233
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