Domestic workers in Causeway Bay. Photo: Asia Times
Domestic workers in Causeway Bay. Photo: Asia Times

The Hong Kong Labor Department has launched a public consultation on whether to publish the records of employment agencies that have been convicted or otherwise penalized for malpractice, in order to protect domestic workers and employers.

The department suggests publishing the relevant records of employment agencies on its website to help keep job-seekers and employers from falling prey to unscrupulous agencies such as those lacking a valid license, according to a government release.

According to the proposal, three lists would be published on the Labor Department’s employment-agency website. One would list agencies convicted of overcharging or of running an unlicensed operation in the past 24 months; one would list agencies whose licenses have been revoked or refused renewal in the past 12 months; and the third would list those that have been issued written warnings for non-compliance with the Code of Practice in the past 12 months,

The consultation period will end on September 7.

An employers group agreed that the department’s idea would protect employers, Oriental Daily reported.

Joan Tsui Hiu-tung, convener of the Support Group for Hong Kong Employers, said the Labor Department should list the names of the employment agencies that are accredited by the consulates so that employers and job seekers could easily search for information.

Tsui believes that would prevent employers from hiring domestic workers through unlicensed agencies.