New higher wage for for­eign care­givers work­ing in Tai­wan

The China Post - - LOCAL -

For­eign care­givers plan­ning to work in Tai­wan will re­ceive a monthly wage of NT$17,000 (US$525) be­gin­ning on Sept. 1, La­bor Min­is­ter Chen Hsi­ung-wen an­nounced on Fri­day.

That rep­re­sents an in­crease of NT$1,160, or 7.32 per­cent, from the cur­rent monthly wage of NT$15,840, which has been the fixed rate for the past 18 years.

In con­trast to the min­i­mum monthly wage of NT$20,008 for work­ers in Tai­wan, which has in­creased 26 per­cent dur­ing the pe­riod, Chen said the 7.32 per­cent raise was rea­son­able.

For­eign na­tion­als work­ing as do­mes­tic care­givers in Tai­wan are not cov­ered un­der Tai­wan's La­bor Stan­dards Act and there­fore not en­ti­tled to the statu­tory min­i­mum wage.

The higher monthly wage will only be ap­plied, how­ever, to new ap­pli­cants from In­done­sia, the Philip­pines, Thai­land and Viet­nam, and not to those al­ready work­ing in Tai­wan.

With the monthly pay for mi­grant do­mes­tic helpers in Hong Kong and Ma­cau at NT$16,530, Tai­wan hopes that the wage in­crease can at­tract qual­ity do­mes­tic helpers to work in the coun­try, Chen said af­ter a meet­ing with of­fi­cials from the four South­east Asian coun­tries ear­lier in the day.

In­done­sia and the Philip­pines, the two coun­tries that pro­vide the most mi­grant do­mes­tic helpers in Tai­wan, have pressed Tai­wan for months to in­crease the wages for their work­ers to NT$17,500 per month, and have been hold­ing back new work­ers from em­ploy­ers un­will­ing to pay that amount.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear if the new wage set­tled the dif­fer­ences be­tween Tai­wan and the two coun­tries.

But Agus­din Su­biantoro, deputy di­rec­tor of In­done­sia's Na­tional Agency for the Place­ment and Pro­tec­tion of In­done­sian Mi­grant Work­ers, told CNA on Thurs­day that In­done­sia and Tai­wan had reached the agree­ment to in­crease mi­grant care­givers' pay to NT$17,000 af­ter rounds of ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Groups of man­power bro­kers called for the min­istry on Fri­day af­ter­noon to re­quire in­com­ing mi­grant work­ers to have HIV/ AIDS test­ing and preg­nancy tests done.

But the La­bor Min­istry said that con­sid­er­ing in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights con­ven­tions and work­place gen­der equal­ity, those tests should not be re­quire­ments for those work­ers.

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