Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Friday that it will make amendments to the Employment Services Act to further strengthen the protection of foreign workers.
Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠), an official from MOL's Cross-Border Workforce Management, said Friday in a telephone interview that fines for employing illegal foreign workers are currently calculated on a case-by-case basis, whereas in the future they will be based on the number of foreign workers employed illegally.
He said that traditionally, fines have been between NT$150,000 (US$4,985) and NT$750,000 (US$24,925) regardless of whether one or 10 illegal foreign workers are employed. After the new amendment comes into force, the fine will be multiplied by the number of illegal foreign workers hired.
Hsueh gave an example: if an employer hires 20 illegal foreign workers, the fine will be between NT$3 million and NT$15 million.
Hsueh said there will also be provisions to dissuade employers from confiscating the identification cards and passports of foreign workers.
He said that without a proper reason for doing so, employers will be fined NT$60,000-NT$300,000 and forbidden from employing foreign laborers.
In addition, the official said, if a labor agent is found guilty of sexually abusing, sexually harassing or engaging in the trafficking of foreign workers, a fine of NT$300,000-NT$1.5 million will be handed down and the individual banned from working as a labor agent.
If employers or care recipients are found guilty of sexually abusing or engaging in the trafficking of foreign workers, they will be ineligible to employ such workers for 2-5 years, and repeat offenders will be ineligible for life.
In the event that labor agents are found to have prior knowledge of an act of abuse by an employer but fail to disclose it to the authorities within 24 hours, they will be fined NT$60,000-NT$300,000.