Those who aspire to work in Hong Kong should understand that there are certain requirements that must be met based on immigration standards, and that it’s not enough to get an employer who can provide you with work in the country.
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Working illegally in Hong Kong could land you in prison, and the same fate awaits those who decide to employ illegal workers in the country, as this is considered a form of human trafficking, which is a serious offence in Hong Kong.
Employer in HK who Hired Illegal Workers Sent to Jail
In line with this, a Hong Kong resident who employed six illegal workers was sent to jail at Shatin Magistrates’ Courts on April 9, as shared in a report by the Sun HK.
The resident was among those caught during an undercover operation known as “Twilight” conducted on May 3, 2018, and then followed by an anti-illegal worker operation conducted on September 5, 2018.
During these operations, officers from the Immigration Department (ImmD) raided Chinese restaurants in Fanling and Yuen Long, respectively.
Six illegal workers were arrested for working as restaurant staff. They have been sent to jail as per the order of Shatin and Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts earlier.
The employer, however, was charged at the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts with six counts of being an employer of a worker who was not lawfully employable, as she did not take all the necessary steps to ascertain whether the applicants were lawfully employable prior to employment.
After trial, the female Hong Kong employer was convicted and sentenced to four months’ prison term for each count, with parts of the sentences to run consecutively, making a total of five months’ imprisonment.
For such offence, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to three years and a fine of HKD 350,000.
As per the court ruling, the employer should have taken all the necessary steps to determine whether a person is lawfully employable prior to employment.
Other than inspecting a prospective employee’s identity card, the employer has the primary responsibility to make enquiries regarding the person and ensure that the answers would not cast any reasonable doubt concerning the lawful employability of the person.
It is also considered an offence when the employer fails to verify the job seeker’s travel document if they do not possess a Hong Kong permanent identity card, for which the maximum fine would be imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of HKD 150,000.