Taiwan to raise minimum wage for migrant caregivers

08/04/2022 10:15 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) Taiwan plans to raise the minimum monthly wage for live-in migrant caregivers and domestic helpers from NT$17,000 (US$567) to NT$20,000 following progress in talks with Indonesia, where most caregivers come from, a labor official said Thursday.

In late July, Indonesia agreed to exempt Taiwan from its zero-placement fee policy and to resume processing applications of new caregivers to work in Taiwan after a series of talks, said Paul Su (蘇裕國), head of the Workforce Development Agency's Cross-Border Workforce Management Division.

The Southeast Asian country halted applications from new caregivers for jobs in Taiwan on March 18, because Taiwanese employers groups' objected to Indonesia's zero-fee policy, which Su said has been introduced in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Since 2020, Indonesia has been pushing for foreign employers to pay the placement costs of workers, including flight tickets, fees involved in applying for a passport and a visa, as well as payments to labor brokerages.

As of June 30, Ministry of Labor data showed there were 218,372 migrant caregivers and domestic helpers working in Taiwan, including 164,786 from Indonesia, 27,315 from Vietnam and 25,867 from the Philippines.

The minimum monthly wage for live-in caregivers and domestic helpers is NT$17,000 because they are not covered by the Labor Standards Act.

Only the 15,530 caregivers who work at care institutions are protected by the law and earn the national minimum wage of NT$25,250, which also covers the 468,806 migrant workers who have industrial jobs in Taiwan.

Su said the proposal to raise the minimum wage will be sent to the employment security fund management committee under the Ministry of Labor for review before the wage hike can be formally introduced.

The committee passed a resolution in early July demanding the Workforce Development Agency submit a plan for the wage hike and supplementary measures, such as subsidies for disadvantaged employers.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Kay Liu)

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Update

Aug. 10: Minimum wage for live-in migrant workers increased to NT$20,000

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