Labor ministry warns brokers about soliciting placement fees

04/05/2020 09:24 PM
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Filipino and Indonesian migrant fishermen mend fishing nets in Yilan / CNA photo for illustrative purposes only
Filipino and Indonesian migrant fishermen mend fishing nets in Yilan / CNA photo for illustrative purposes only

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Taiwan's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) under the Ministry of Labor (MOL) warned labor brokers that soliciting placement fees from migrant workers will be met with heavy fines and penalties in a statement Sunday.

Manpower agencies that demand placement fees or so called "job-buying fees" from migrant workers will be fined 10-20 times the illegal payments they collect, in addition to a suspension of operations for up to a year and being not allowed to renew their license when it expires, the WDA said.

Brokers are only allowed to collect registration and introduction fees from employers, the total sum of which cannot exceed the amount of the migrant workers' first month salary, the WDA said.

Meanwhile, migrant workers are encouraged to contact the ministry, local government labor departments, or the 1955 foreign workers' free telephone hotline if they are asked to pay placement fees, the WDA said.

For migrant workers who file reports, the ministry will approve employer and job changes to help them, the WDA said.

Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠), a section chief at the WDA, told CNA the statement was issued in the wake of local media reports that an NGO in Hsinchu has received 30-40 complaints about brokers asking for placement fees.

There are a total of 719,487 migrant workers in Taiwan, of which 279,412 are from Indonesia, 221,913 are from Vietnam, 159,011 from the Philippines, and 59,145 from Thailand, according to MOL statistics valid as of the end of February.

Indonesian migrant fishers prepare fishing lines in Yilan / CNA photo for illustrative purposes only
Indonesian migrant fishers prepare fishing lines in Yilan / CNA photo for illustrative purposes only

(By William Yen)

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