Foreign domestic helpers’ pay not pegged to local basic wage
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.