Suspended sentence over unpaid wages

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 September, 2007, 12:00am

A property management director was given a four-week suspended sentence yesterday for failing to pay outstanding wages and redundancy payments to about 200 staff.

Harmony Property Management Ltd director Fung Hung-yiu was sentenced to four weeks' jail, suspended for 18 months, after being convicted in Kwun Tong Court.

The company wound up last October with outstanding wages and redundancy payments owing to about 200 employees. The workers made successful claims in the Labour Tribunal but the employer still failed to pay them outstanding wages of HK$85,000.

The Labour Department, which prosecuted the case, found the wage offences were committed with Fung's consent, connivance or neglect. Nine workers agreed to act as prosecution witnesses in the case.

A Labour Department spokesman welcomed the judgment. 'This is the fourth case this year in which a custodial sentence has been imposed on a company director for wage offences. It shows the courts are attaching more importance to such offences,' the spokesman said.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of HK$350,000 and three years' imprisonment. Employees who are owed wages should call the Labour Department's complaint hotline on 2815 2200.