Min­istry backs al­low­ing mi­grant work­ers to stay longer

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Min­istry of La­bor (MOL) has voiced its sup­port for a pro­posal by law­mak­ers to in­crease the to­tal num­ber of years for­eign na­tion­als can work in Tai­wan, but only on the con­di­tion that such an ex­ten­sion will not af­fect job op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal res­i­dents.

Nine­teen law­mak­ers, led by Kuom­intang Leg­is­la­tor Chi­ang Hue­ichen ( ), pro­posed an amend­ment to the Em­ploy­ment Ser­vice Act at the Leg­is­la­ture on Wed­nes­day that would al­low for­eign work­ers to work a to­tal of 15 years in Tai­wan, com­pared with the max­i­mum 12 at present. The law­mak­ers also pro­posed to get rid of a reg­u­la­tion re­quir­ing mi­grant work­ers to leave the coun­try for at least one day when their work per­mit ex­pires be­fore re-en­ter­ing the coun­try to work un­der a re­newed or new per­mit.

La­bor Min­is­ter Chen Hsi­ung­wen ( ) said he sup­ported the amend­ment, which he thinks will so­lid­ify the re­la­tion­ship be­tween em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers, save train­ing costs and keep tal­ented for­eign work­ers in Tai­wan.

Ex­tend­ing the length of time mi­grants can work in Tai­wan, he said, will help em­ploy­ers re­tain peo­ple who meet their needs.

“Such a move will not in­crease the num­ber of for­eign work­ers in Tai­wan, but it will help the coun­try’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment and so­cial sta­bil­ity,” Chen said.

The La­bor Min­is­ter was less sup­port­ive of the pro­posal to get rid of the re-en­try re­quire­ment, say­ing it had to be dis­cussed fur­ther.

Hong Kong and South Korea do not set a ceil­ing on the ag­gre­gate num­ber of years for­eign na­tion­als can work in their ter­ri­to­ries.

Sin­ga­pore lim­its ba­sic work­ers to six-year stays but those with ba­sic tech­ni­cal skills can work in the city state for up to 18 years, and no ceil- ing for to­tal work du­ra­tion ex­ists for do­mes­tic helpers, ac­cord­ing the La­bor Min­istry.

Min­istry statis­tics show that as of Feb. 28, there were 513,570 legally em­ployed for­eign work­ers in Tai­wan and 44,204 for­eign work­ers whose where­abouts were un­known.

The largest con­tin­gent of for­eign work­ers in Tai­wan comes from In­done­sia, with 230,000 peo­ple work­ing in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures.

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