What steps should an employer take to ensure a job seeker is lawfully employable in Hong Kong? What documents should an employer inspect for job seekers who do not hold a Hong Kong permanent identity card and what are the consequences for an employer who fails to check if a job seeker is lawfully employable in Hong Kong?
Understanding the Legal Requirements
As an employer in Hong Kong, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure that any potential employee is lawfully employable. This involves taking practical steps such as inspecting the job seeker’s valid travel document if they do not hold a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card.
Recognizing the Types of Identity Cards
All holders of Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards are lawfully employable. These cards contain the statement “The holder of this card has the right of abode in Hong Kong” at the back. However, not all holders of non-Hong Kong permanent identity cards are lawfully employable.
Checking Travel Documents
To employ non-Hong Kong permanent identity card holders, you must inspect the job seekers’ valid travel documents. This is to ensure they can take up employment in Hong Kong without the Director of Immigration’s prior permission and have not breached any condition of stay.
Understanding the Restrictions
Employing a person permitted to remain on visitor, student, employment condition, or a person whose travel document or “e-Visa” is endorsed with a condition of stay that “Employment is not permitted” requires prior approval from the Director of Immigration. Imported workers under the Importation of Labour Schemes and foreign domestic helpers are common examples of non-Hong Kong permanent identity card holders not free to take up employment in Hong Kong.
Recognizing the Penalties
Employing a person not lawfully employable can result in severe penalties, including a maximum fine of $500,000 and ten years’ imprisonment. Failing to inspect the job seeker’s identity card and valid travel document, if applicable, may result in a maximum fine of $150,000 and one year imprisonment.
If you have doubts that a job seeker is lawfully employable in Hong Kong, you should check out the Immigration Department website here. The immigration offence reporting email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before entering into a contract of employment, you must inspect the job seeker’s Hong Kong identity card and valid travel document if they do not hold a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card. This is to ensure the job seeker is lawfully employable and to avoid any legal complications.