Hefty fine awaits violators of employment agency order 2004

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Labour Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs reminds the public that a hefty punishment awaits those who violate the Employment Agency Order 2004, Borneo Bulletin reported.

The reminder comes after an observation found that unauthorised persons (including foreign workers) have been handling and submitting applications for the hiring and recruitment of foreign workers.

According to a statement released by the Labour Department, the department recently carried out a monitoring initiative in certain areas of its headquarters following the implementation and full enforcement of the Employment Agency Order 2004 on January 1, 2012.

Through the initiative, it was found there were instances encountered by the Labour Department, as well as based on various complaints raised by the general public, whereby unauthorised persons had been found handling and submitting applications for the hiring and recruitment of foreign workers.

The main objective of the initiative was to ensure only authorised individuals submit their relevant applications at the Foreign Worker’s Sections located on the department’s 4th and 5th floors.

These authorised individuals also include those acting on behalf of another, such as a licensed employment agent acting on behalf of an employer recruiting new foreign workers (through BUR 500).

Accordingly, the Labour Department seeks to emphasise to members of the public that the unauthorised handling and submission of applications directly contravenes the department’s policy and procedures.

As has been previously informed to the public through the media in December 2011, while certain applications, such as the recruitment of new foreign workers, can only be handled through licensed employment agencies, other applications may be handled by employers themselves, as shown in the table at right:

In the event an employment agency is used for the recruitment of new foreign workers, the public is urged to ensure the agency in question and its agents have been fully licensed and vetted by the Department of Labour.

Section 6 of the Employment Agency Order 2004 states that, “No person shall carry on an employment agency unless he is the holder of a licence granted by the Commissioner (of Labour)” and if found guilty of such an offence, such person(s) is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both. Any second or subsequent conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.

A list of licensed Employment Agencies can be found at the Labour Department’s website (www.labour.gov.bn) as well as at the Employment Agency Unit located on the 4th floor of the Labour Department Headquarters at Jalan Menteri Besar.

The Department of Labour reminds licensed employment agencies that under Section 31(f) of the Employment Agency Order 2004, “Any licensee who lends, transfers or assigns, or who attempts or purports to lend, transfer or assign his license to any other person” if found guilty, is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.”

The department also advises that any person submitting his applications or acting on behalf of another must bring with him relevant documentation/identification such as an identity card (IC), company registration and any identification issued by the Labour Department (kad wakil agensi pekerjaan / kad urusan).

The department assures the public that this initiative will continue for an indefinite period of time at the areas aforementioned as needed, in an effort to enhance the department’s services offered.

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