Table of contents
Things to be vigilant about #1: Compare the fees and services of the top 5 foreign domestic helper (FDH) agencies/employment centersThings to be vigilant about #2: Beware of "unlicensed" intermediariesThings to be vigilant about #3: Pay attention to whether the FDH agency is on the blacklistThings to be vigilant about #4: Knowing the unscrupulous practices of FDH intermediariesThings to be vigilant about #5: Pay attention to complaints lodged with the Consumer CouncilThings to be vigilant about #6: Pay attention to what items need to be paidThings to be vigilant about #7: Proactively ask for a refund or FDH replacement termsThings to be vigilant about #8: If things happen too fast, something isn’t rightThings to be vigilant about #9: Insurance does not have to be secured through the FDH intermediary/employment center
外傭中介防伏位 #1 比較5大外傭中介/僱傭中心收費及服務

How to choose a foreign domestic helper agency/employment center? Fee and service comparison + things to be vigilant about + agency blacklist

Things to be vigilant about #1: Compare the fees and services of the top 5 foreign domestic helper (FDH) agencies/employment centers

The fees and service details will differ from one employment center to another, such as the application time, refund conditions, etc. We suggest that employers compare different employment centers based on the following criteria:

- Fees related to visas, consulates, entry, etc.

- Cost of air ticket to Hong Kong (and whether the pick-up is included)

- Overseas and local medical examination fees for the helper

- Replacement fees for overseas or current domestic helper who has completed the contract

 

Overseas helper

FDH in Hong Kong who has completed a contract

Employer-selected FDH (contract replacement within Hong Kong)

Overseas Employment Centre Ltd.

Filipino maid: from HKD $11,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $13,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $8,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $12,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $4,990

Indonesian maid: from HKD $6,990

 

Package includes:

- Fees related to consulate in Hong Kong, entry procedures, visa, courier

- Consulate registration and Hong Kong ID card application

- Body check of the FDH

- Maid can be replaced once within the first 12 months (70% of the original fee will be separately charged)

Package Includes:

- Hong Kong Immigration Department work visa fee

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Body check of the FDH

- If you change your maid within 6 months, you need to pay 70% of the prevailing cost of hiring a new maid

Package includes:

- Hong Kong Immigration Department work visa fee

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Body check of the FDH

Technic Employment Service Centre Ltd.

Filipino maid: from HKD $11,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $11,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $13,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $15,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $5,680

Indonesian maid: from HKD $7,980

 

Package Includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Helper's air ticket to Hong Kong

- Body check and exit handling fee for domestic helper before arrival in Hong Kong

- Work visa fee

- Body check fee upon arrival in Hong Kong

Package includes:

- Handling contract notarization by the consulate

- Handling application for Hong Kong work visa

- Body check for the FDH

*Does not include exit fees of the FDH or the cost of air ticket to Hong Kong

Package includes:

- Handling contract notarization by the consulate

- Handling application for Hong Kong work visa

- Handle relevant application procedures in Hong Kong

- Handle relevant exit documents and procedures of the country of origin of the FDH

- Cost of air ticket to Hong Kong

Sunlight Employment Agency

Filipino maid: from HKD $11,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $11,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $11,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $13,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $3,900

Indonesian maid: from HKD $3,900

 

Package includes:

- Hong Kong work visa fee, contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Air ticket to Hong Kong

- Assistance in application for HKID card by FDH

Package includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- First-time Hong Kong work visa fee

- Body check in Hong Kong

Package includes:

- First-time Hong Kong work visa fee

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

My Sweet Home Employment Agency

Filipino maid: from HKD $9,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $8,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $15,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $15,980

Filipino maid: from HKD $5,380

Indonesian maid: from HKD $5,380

 

Package includes:

- Overseas medical examination

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Hong Kong work visa

- One-way air ticket to Hong Kong, departure tax and airport tax included

- Application for Hong Kong ID card, registration at consulate, Hong Kong medical examination

Package includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Hong Kong work visa

- Medical examination in Hong Kong

Package includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Hong Kong work visa

- Philippine Consulate OWWA (only for Filipino maids)

* Medical examination fee is not included

LOTUS Employment Agency

Filipino maid: from HKD $8,880

Indonesian maid: from HKD $8,880

Filipino maid: from HKD $12,880

Indonesian maid: from HKD $12,880

Filipino maid: from HKD $4,980

Indonesian maid: from HKD $4,980

 

Package includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Hong Kong work visa fee

- Body check in country of origin

- Body check in Hong Kong

- One-way air ticket to Hong Kong or arrival fee in Hong Kong (only for Filipino maids)

- Assistance in application for HKID card by FDH

Package includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Hong Kong work visa fee

- Body check in Hong Kong

- Philippine Consulate OWWA fee (only for Filipino maids)

Package includes:

- Contract notarization fee by the consulate

- Hong Kong work visa fee

- Philippine Consulate OWWA fee (only for Filipino maids)

 

Things to be vigilant about #2: Beware of "unlicensed" intermediaries

There are 1,527 licensed employment agencies for foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong as of the end of 2021, according to the government. Currently, there are no provisions in the Employment Ordinance or the Employment Agencies Regulations requiring employment agencies operating in Hong Kong to obtain official authorization from foreign governments for providing services related to the recruitment of foreign domestic helpers. Employers are therefore advised to use well-established and well-known FDH agencies.

If you wish to use a smaller FDH agency, you are advised to first go to the "Employment Agency Website" of the Labour Department, or contact the Employment Agency Affairs Division of the Labour Department at 2115 3667 to check whether these agencies are properly licensed. In addition, you should also confirm whether these employment centers hold licenses recognized by the Ministry of Labor of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., to make sure they are legitimate.

Things to be vigilant about #3: Pay attention to whether the FDH agency is on the blacklist

Every year, the Labour Department publishes a list of intermediaries that have received written warnings, or even had their license revoked or license renewal refused. Employers can check the website of the Labour Department to avoid patronizing these unscrupulous agencies.

List of employment agencies that have received written warnings for violating the regulations:

Name of the EA

Address of the EA

Date of Warning

Reasons of Warning

28Helper Agency Limited

Shop 5, Ground floor, Wah Chi Mansion, 286-298 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.

10 December 2021

Failing to draw up service agreements with employers

A&F Employment Centre

Room 1605, 16th floor, Hollywood Plaza, 610 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

26 September 2022

Failing to ensure that the candidate offered to employer is available for filling the vacancy

God Well Employment Agency

Mezzanine floor, 56B Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon

28 January 2022

Failing to draw up a written service agreement with employer agreed by both parties before receiving payment from employer

God Well Employment Agency

Mezzanine floor, 56B Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon

28 January 2022

Failing to have reasonable knowledge of the legal provisions relevant to the operation of employment agencies, including but not limited to Employment Ordinance and Employment Agency Regulations

Helper Wing's Agency

35th floor, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

13 January 2022

Failing to include all required items in payment receipts provided to employers

Jumbo International Maid Employment Agency

Room 1704, 17th floor, 655 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

14 September 2022

Failing to include all required items in the service agreement with employers

Jumbo International Maid Employment Agency

Room 1704, 17th floor, 655 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

14 September 2022

Failing to include all required items in payment receipts provided to employers

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to include all required items in service agreements with job-seekers

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to include all required items in service agreements with employers

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to include all required items in payment receipts provided to jobseekers

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to provide payment receipts to employers

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to include all required items in payment receipts provided to employers

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to ask employers to acknowledge receipt of the publications and sample forms as listed in the CoP, and to confirm that they have been briefed about their rights and obligations in full and understand such in writing

Metro Asia Recruitment Services Co.

Ground floor, 350B Fan Tin Tsuen, San Tin, Yuen Long, New Territories

13 September 2022

Failing to keep records relating to the dealings with jobseekers and their employers including acknowledgement from foreign domestic helpers and employers regarding the receipt of the signed Standard Employment Contract

P & P Employment Agency Limited

Room 1004, 10th floor, Progress Commercial Building, 9 Irving Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

28 June 2022

Failing to draw up service agreements with jobseekers

P & P Employment Agency Limited

Room 1004, 10th floor, Progress Commercial Building, 9 Irving Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

28 June 2022

Failing to include all required items in service agreements with employers

Sunlight Employment Agency

Room 906, 9th floor, Hollywood Plaza, 610 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

4 July 2022

EA failed to ensure the information provided is consistent with facts as known

Top Services and Company

Room 705-706, 7th floor, Tung Ming Building, 40-42 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong.

20 July 2022

Failing to include all the required items in the service agreement drawn up with employers

Top Services and Company

Room 705-706, 7th floor, Tung Ming Building, 40-42 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong.

20 July 2022

Failing to include all the required items in the payment receipts provided to employers

WAH YING EMPLOYMENT CENTRE

Shop 163-164, 1st floor, Big Day Mall,9-15 Heung Sze Wui Street, Tai Po, New Territories.

7 October 2022

Failing to draw up a written service agreement with the employer agreed by concerned parties

WAH YING EMPLOYMENT CENTRE

Shop 163-164, 1st floor, Big Day Mall,9-15 Heung Sze Wui Street, Tai Po, New Territories.

7 October 2022

Failing to include all required items in the payment receipt provided to employer

Wing Fai Employment Limited

Shop 13, Ground floor, Wing Fai Garden, 29-35 Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

11 April 2022

Failing to draw up service agreements with jobseekers

Wing Fai Employment Limited

Shop 13, Ground floor, Wing Fai Garden, 29-35 Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

11 April 2022

Failing to include all required items in service agreements with employers

WT (Asia) Employment Centre

Flat J, 3rd floor, Block B, Clague Garden Estate, 26 Hoi Shing Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

14 June 2022

The licensee of the EA failed to closely supervise the operations of the EA and their staff

Source: Labour Department

Things to be vigilant about #4: Knowing the unscrupulous practices of FDH intermediaries

When choosing an FDH agency, employers should not only pay attention to the comments on social media such as Facebook, Google Review, and Instagram, but also watch out for common unscrupulous practices of these agencies, including:

  • Not signing any service agreement with the employer or the job applicant
  • Making suggestions or abetting employers to deduct wages, rest days or statutory holidays of foreign helpers to recoup their loans, commissions, training fees, etc.
  • Providing employers with inaccurate or misleading information regarding the personal information or abilities of a domestic helper
  • Abetting employers to pass on costs to foreign domestic helpers, such as fees and expenses levied by their local government and/or institutions (such as visa fees/training fees, etc.)

By contrast, a good employment agency should clearly explain to the employer the fees, scope of services, refund arrangements, and fees for replacing the domestic helper, as well as sign a service agreement with the employer. It will also clearly explain the responsibilities of the employer, such as the minimum wage and how to calculate sick leave allowance and annual leave, to protect the rights and interests of both parties.

Things to be vigilant about #5: Pay attention to complaints lodged with the Consumer Council

Many complaints are lodged with the Consumer Council, and employers may wish to look at these examples to remind themselves to be vigilant:

Cheating in video interviews

In one case, the foreign helper could speak fluent Cantonese during the Zoom call, but couldn’t say a word of Cantonese in real life. It turns out that during the video meeting, there was an instant translation into Cantonese taking place behind the camera. Therefore, it is recommended that employers, if circumstances permit, try to interview in person as much as possible to understand their working ability, experience, and attitude, and at the same time let the other party understand your expected working environment, scope, and standard.

"100% of your money back" is a misnomer

If the application of the foreign helper selected by the employer is unsuccessful or the helper fails to take up the job as scheduled, he should pay attention to whether the contract stipulates the date of the foreign helper's performance. In addition, employers should pay attention to the terms and conditions of the service in addition to the fees charged by the agency. 

For example, there was a case where a foreign helper agency claimed to provide a "100% refund". Only when the foreign helper was refused to leave the country by the Philippine Customs did the employer discover that the original "100% refund" protection only applied to cases where the domestic helper failed to obtain a visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Cases where the Hong Kong visa was granted were not covered by the refund clause.

Things to be vigilant about #6: Pay attention to what items need to be paid

Hiring a domestic helper through an intermediary will definitely involve documents and administrative fees. Employers should pay attention to what items are covered by the service fee to confirm that there are no hidden items that need to be paid. This is especially common with lower-priced agencies, as they may mislead employers or force domestic helpers to pay hidden fees to make up for the price difference.

Things to be vigilant about #7: Proactively ask for a refund or FDH replacement terms

Since the foreign domestic helper agency only handles the work between the time of the foreign helper's application and the time of her arrival in Hong Kong, if the foreign helper has already assumed her new role, but the work attitude or performance is not satisfactory, the foreign domestic helper agency can only provide limited help, including offering the employer preferential rates for FDH replacement. It is rare for the employer to be fully refunded or have the FDH replaced without conditions. It is recommended that employers prepare for the worst before hiring a foreign helper, and ask the foreign helper agency under what circumstances will they arrange for a replacement or fee refund, so as to prevent arguments down the road.

Things to be vigilant about #8: If things happen too fast, something isn’t right

If the foreign helper agency/employment center promises to arrange for the foreign helper’s arrival in Hong Kong quickly, the employer should be particularly careful because the steps of each foreign helper’s application to come to Hong Kong will take time. Depending on the Indian/Filipino helper hired, the time needed will be different. For example, the body check will take 3-4 working days, and the visa approval will take 6-8 weeks. These are not things a domestic helper intermediary can speed up, so in reality, they are often just dishonest marketing tactics.

Things to be vigilant about #9: Insurance does not have to be secured through the FDH intermediary/employment center

Domestic helper employment agencies often advertise their "one-stop service" and provide several domestic helper insurance plans for employers to choose from. Many employers will simply buy it directly from the foreign helper center for convenience, and some centers will even provide labor insurance for the first year (i.e. employee’s compensation insurance), but the coverage and limits of these insurance plans may not be sufficient in many cases. The employer sometimes only finds that out when the FDH is really sick or needs to claim compensation in an accident, but by then it is already too late.

The fact of the matter is, just because your agency offers insurance plans for you to choose from doesn’t mean you cannot opt to secure insurance by yourself. Purchasing domestic helper insurance by yourself not only gives you more flexibility, but it also allows both you and your helper to obtain the exact protection needed while potentially saving money at the same time.

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The above information is for reference only. Kwiksure takes no responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of the information. For the coverage, mode of compensation, benefit limit and premium levels of any specific insurance plan, please refer to the relevant policy terms.