CLA open to barring rich from hiring foreign help

The China Post news staff

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said it would respect the notion of implementing a set of qualifications that exclude the rich from being eligible to hire foreign domestic caregivers, as suggested by the five cities’ Department of Labor collaboratively, and would consider incorporating the suggestion into official discussion, yesterday.

Cases of celebrities abusing caregivers to engage in work not within the sphere permitted by the Employment Services Act have recently drawn lots of attention, with Tseng Hsin-ying (曾馨瑩), wife of Hon Hai Group Terry Gou (郭台銘), fined NT$30,000 by the Taipei City Department of Labor for having her foreign domestic caregiver carry shopping bags when she toured a department store together with her daughter. To protect the Republic of China nationals’ employment rights, the Labor heads of the five cities drafted a “rich-excluding article” which, according to Director of the Executive Yuan Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training (BEVT) Lin San-kui (林三貴), would be included in the discussions of an international labor policy counseling meeting scheduled to take place at the end of December. Representatives of laborers, employers, and scholars will all be present to participate in the dialogue, Lin said.

According to statistics from the CLA, from January through October, a total of 1,747 violations of the Employment Services Act had been reported, while 1,657 such penalties were filed in 2010.

Fu Huei-chih (傅慧芝), director of the Foreign Worker Administration (FWA, 外國人聘僱管理組) under the BEVT, explained that such cases often times result of employers’ ambiguous understanding that it is illegal to request domestic caregivers to work outside of certain realms.