Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) A draft bill aimed at extending the time foreign caregivers are permitted to work in Taiwan failed to clear the committee stage Wednesday, as lawmakers could not agree on the extension period.
In the Legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, several lawmakers, including Hsu Chih-jung (徐志榮) of the Kuomintang (KMT), proposed that the cumulative period of employment for a migrant caregiver in Taiwan should not exceed 15 years.
Under Article 52 of the Employment Service Act, migrant workers in general are allowed to work in Taiwan for a period of no more than 12 accumulated years. However, caregivers may apply for an extension of up to two years under special circumstances, the current law states.
During the review of the draft amendment to Article 52, Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟) and some other KMT lawmakers proposed allowing an extension of up to six years for caregivers, while Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and other DPP legislators suggested an extension period of up to nine years.
Meanwhile, several legislators across party lines said the time limit should be removed entirely, in line with neighboring places such as Hong Kong and South Korea.
With no consensus in the committee, the draft amendment to Article 52 was suspended until the party caucuses could reach a consensus.
Commenting on the issue, Workforce Development Agency Director-General Huang Chiu-kuei (黃秋桂) said any extension granted to migrant caregivers should be carefully considered because it could impact the government's long-term care policy.
Any extension should also take into consideration the country's immigration policy, Huang said.