Recruiters helping domestic helpers cheat at interviews

Local | 15 May 2019 3:51 pm

The Consumer Council has raised concerns about the practices of some domestic helper employment agencies that match families with maids, including the use of cue cards during job interviews via video link so helpers can pretend they understand Cantonese, RTHK. 
The council said in one case, an Indonesian helper who appeared to be able to communicate in Cantonese during a video interview turned out not to understand even the most basic words like “cook”, “clean” and “laundry”.
The helper said during the interview that she was provided with translations of the questions and a pronunciation guide for the Cantonese answers from behind the camera. 
In another case, one employer paid more than HK$10,000 upfront to an agency which promises a “100 percent refund” if clients aren't satisfied. But it was only when the employer failed to find a suitable helper that they realised that there are many terms and conditions prohibiting a refund.
The council said today that they get around 200 complaints a year about such companies, with the most serious alleging deliberate misleading about helpers’ skills and language abilities. 
The council however said the complaints are so diverse that even after its intervention, they could not be satisfactorily resolved. 
Council chief executive Gilly Wong said authorities need to step up supervision and enforcement.
“We also understand the Labour Department has already issued a code for employment agencies to follow, but it seems like the compliance of those code is not as good as we want it to be,” she said. 
“And also, from the enforcement side, that require probably more stringent enforcement, to ensure that the employment agencies are accountable for what they are delivering right now,” she added.

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