An employment agency in mainland China has admitted that they can arrange for foreign domestic workers to work in China illegally with help from agents in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

A mainland employment agency posted information about domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia on its website, saying an employer needs to pay a fee of about 10,000 yuan (US$1,507) for an intermediary to hire one, local broadcaster nowTV News reported.

The salary for a foreign domestic helper working in mainland China could reach 7,000 yuan – nearly double the standard salary of HK$4,410 (US$565) in Hong Kong.

A staff member at the employment agency told a reporter over the phone that domestic workers usually come from Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore – when their visas expire they work illegally in China.

The Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong has said they are investigating complaints that some workers in Hong Kong were scammed out several thousand dollars by intermediaries who promised them a job abroad.

Meanwhile, chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the government would severely punish any local employment agencies that help Filipino domestic workers to work illegally in countries overseas, Wen Wei Po reported.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong revealed that four local employment intermediaries with government licenses had had their accreditation canceled over the past few years.

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