Mainland resident jailed for taking unapproved employment as post-natal care worker

29 May 2012

A female Mainland resident who worked illegally in Hong Kong as a post-natal care worker pleaded guilty to one count of breach of condition of stay and was sentenced to two months' imprisonment at Shatin Magistrates' Court today (May 29).

On May 26, the 46-year-old defendant was stopped for further examination at Lo Wu Control Point. During enquiries, she claimed that she was coming to work in Hong Kong as a post-natal care worker. The defendant admitted under caution that she was employed by a local employer and his Mainland wife, who had just given birth to a baby in Hong Kong on May 16. She further said that she was introduced to the local employer via a Mainland post-natal service company. In April 2012, the couple hired the defendant as a post-natal care worker. The defendant accepted the offer and worked in Hong Kong to take care of the employer's wife and her newborn baby during her stay in Hong Kong from May 19 to May 26.

Further investigation into the employer and his wife's suspected offence is continuing.

An Immigration Department spokesman warned that visitors are not allowed to take employment, or establish or join in any business, in Hong Kong without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years.

The spokesman appealed to employers not to employ illegal workers, warning that it is an offence to employ people who are not lawfully employable. The maximum penalty is a fine of $350,000 and imprisonment for three years. To deter unlawful employment, the High Court laid down a sentencing guideline in 2004 reaffirming that it is a serious offence to employ someone who is not legally employable, and that the employer of an illegal worker should be given an immediate custodial sentence.