Hong Kong resident employer jailed for employing illegal worker

2 August 2016

A Hong Kong resident employer who employed an illegal worker was jailed at Shatin Magistrates' Courts yesterday (August 1).
During an anti-illegal employment operation mounted on March 17, 2016, officers of the Immigration Department (ImmD) raided a restaurant in Kwun Tong and one Vietnamese man holding a recognisance form issued by the ImmD, which prohibits the holder from taking up employment, was found. He was arrested for taking up a dishwashing job. Further investigation revealed that he was a non-refoulement claimant. He was charged on March 19 for taking up employment in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration and while being a person in respect of whom a removal order was in force. He was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. The employer was ruled to be an employer of a person who is not lawfully employable and was sentenced to two months' imprisonment at Shatin Magistrates' Court yesterday.
The ImmD 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. It is also an offence if an employer fails to inspect the job seeker's identity card or, if the job seeker does not have a Hong Kong permanent identity card, his or her valid travel document. The maximum penalty for failing to do so is a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for one year. To deter unlawful employment, the High Court laid down sentencing guidelines in 2004 reaffirming that it is a serious offence to employ someone who is not legally employable, and stating that the employer of an illegal worker should be given an immediate custodial sentence.