Agency Charges Helper $15K

HK Magazine - - NEWS -

An em­ploy­ment agency li­censee has been fined

$9,000 by the East­ern Court for charg­ing an In­done­sian do­mes­tic helper agency fees amount­ing to more than 30 times the le­gal limit. The agent co­erced the helper into bor­row­ing $13,300 to cover the fee, which, plus in­ter­est, meant she had to pay $15,000 to the loan shark. Agen­cies can only charge 10 per­cent of a helper’s salary, in this case $411, as an in­ter­me­di­ary fee. The Fed­er­a­tion of Asian Do­mes­tic Work­ers Union spoke out against the court’s rul­ing, say­ing the $9,000 fine would not be an ef­fec­tive de­ter­rent against such be­hav­ior by agen­cies. The max­i­mum fine pos­si­ble for such an of­fense is $50,000. Our take: As if do­mes­tic work­ers don’t have a hard enough time as it is.

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