For­eign do­mes­tic helpers’ pay not pegged to lo­cal ba­sic wage

The China Post - - LOCAL -

As Tai­wan and the main sup­pli­ers of for­eign do­mes­tic helpers pre­pare to dis­cuss a wage in­crease for such work­ers, La­bor Min­is­ter Chen Hsi­ung-wen said Tues­day that their wages are not pegged to the lo­cal ba­sic salary.

“The monthly min­i­mum wage for lo­cal work­ers has in­creased by 26 per­cent in re­cent years, while the ba­sic pay for for­eign do­mes­tic helpers has been frozen for 18 years, which is not rea­son­able,” Chen said.

Last month, In­done­sia, the Philip­pines, Viet­nam and Thai­land jointly asked Tai­wan to raise the monthly pay of their do­mes­tic helpers in Tai­wan, from the cur­rent NT$15,840 (US$489) to NT$17,500.

“A 7 per­cent in­crease would push the monthly wage of for- eign do­mes­tic helpers to around NT$17,000, but we will try to find a bal­ance some­where in the mid­dle, as they have re­quested a raise of 11 per­cent,” the min­is­ter said.

“We may of­fer a 6 per­cent in­crease of NT$1,000 per month and will dis­cuss the is­sue with these coun­tries next week to reach an agree­ment,” Chen said. “The is­sue, how­ever, is not pegged to the lo­cal min­i­mum wage (NT$20,008) per month, de­spite their re­quest to in­crease the pay.”

La­bor min­istry sta­tis­tics showed that as of the end of Jan­uary, there were 556,412 mi­grant work­ers in Tai­wan, with 208,486 em­ployed as care­givers or home helpers. Of that num­ber, 175,000 were do­mes­tic helpers from In­done­sia, which made it the ma­jor source of such work­ers in Tai­wan.

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