Taiwan shops illegally hiring int’l students to face up to NT$750K fine

A foreign student is pictured looking for a job at the career fair held by National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in 2019. (Courtesy of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taipei City Government announced on Tuesday that shops hiring international students without proper work permits could be fined up to NT$750,000 (US$26,763) while the student will be fined up to NT$150,000 (US$5,352). 

Due to the pandemic, thousands of international students haven’t been able to return home and were forced to stay in Taiwan and work during the winter break this year, said Taipei Department of Labor Commissioner Chen Hsin-yu (陳信瑜). 

Some stores, however, have been caught hiring international students without work permits, arguing that they are not their staff and they only tried help, she said.

As long as physical labor is provided, Chen explained that part-time jobs such as washing dishes, serving food, cleaning tables and sweeping floors are considered as “work” even if no salary is paid.  

If a store illegally allows foreigners to work, the employer may be fined between NT$150,000 (US$5,352) and NT$750,000 and the foreign student between NT$30,000 (US$1,070) and NT$150,000 per the “Employment Service Act.”  

International students must first apply for a work permit to work in Taiwan, Chen said.  

She suggested that employers check international students’ status, work permit and identity document, and save copies of their papers before hiring them.

It’s also vital for employers to check the expiry date of the legal documents beforehand, she stressed.