Hefty fines for employers who bar migrant workers from returning to home country


The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Employers could face fines between NT$60,000 to NT$300,000 if they violate the latest law, which went to effect today, allowing migrant workers to apply and return to their home countries on leave. Under the revised clause for the Employment Service Act, migrant workers who received annual holiday leaves, as guaranteed by the Labor Standards Act and their labor contract, should be allowed to apply to their employers for leave and return to their home countries. The revised clause comes after non-profit organizations expressed concerns that axing a clause that requires foreign guest workers to return to their home countries every three years, would instead impede them from being able to return home and visit their families at all. Negotiations to adjust the period of the migrant worker’s holidays can be requested by the employers citing business operations or by the patients the workers are caring for who require urgent attention. However, if the negotiations fall through, the employers are required to allow the migrant worker to continue with their original plans and date to return to their home countries, according to the Workforce Development Agency. Workers whose occupation are regulated by the Labor Standards Act, such as industrial migrant workers, can receive leaves as stipulated by the Labor Standards Act, Act of Gender Equality in Employment and their labor contract. Migrant workers working in occupations not regulated by the Labor Standards Act, such as foreign caretakers, can apply for their annual leaves in accordance to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment and their labor contract. According to the labor contracts in Taiwan, a migrant worker working as a caretaker can receive seven annual holidays off a year, a Workforce Development Agency official told local media. Aside from hefty fines, the Labor Ministry can also revoke the employer’s migrant worker employment license or enforce an employment quota for two years.