Heavy fines for illegal deductions from migrant workers’ wages: MOL

(CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Any employers who make illegal deductions from the salaries of migrant workers will face a fine of up to NT$300,000 (NT$10,206), the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Tuesday.

The current law demands that employers must not withhold wages. Workers who believe their wages are being garnished or that they are being overcharged by their brokers should report any issues to 1955, a 24-hour consultation and protection hotline for foreign workers, the ministry’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said.

Each case will be investigated by the local labor department and any violations handled strictly in accordance with the law, the WDA said.

Some common illegal deductions by employers on behalf of brokers include service fees, foreign loans, residence permit fees and medical examination fees, the WDA said.

If illegal deductions are found to have taken place, the employer will be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000 in accordance with the rules stated in Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers, and their rights to employ migrant workers will be revoked, the WDA said.

Meanwhile, the broker will face a fine of between 10 to 20 times the amount of money they overcharge the worker and will be suspended from operating, the WDA said.

The WDA pointed out that employers are only allowed to deduct items permissible by law, such as national health and labor insurance, taxes, and food and lodging.

The employer should also give detailed salary sheets to migrant workers in both Chinese and the worker’s language of origin, the WDA said.

There were 700,800 migrant workers in Taiwan as of the end of July, including 269,819 from Indonesia, 220,067 from Vietnam, 153,936 from the Philippines and 56,972 from Thailand, according to MOL statistics.