Tue, Dec 10, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Pilot zone foreign worker rules relaxed

Staff writer, with CNA

While the rules will be relaxed for hiring foreign white-collar employees in Taiwan’s “free economic pilot zones,” the minimum wage for foreign employees will remain the same, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday.

The minimum monthly wage for foreign workers in most fields is NT$47,971 (US$1,600), about 2.5 times Taiwan’s current minimum wage of NT$19,047.

“The wages [for foreign white-collars] must reach a certain level to ensure that those employed are exceptional talents, not regular manpower,” the council said in a statement, rebuffing reports by local media earlier yesterday that the restriction would be lifted.

However, the “free economic pilot zones” are to be exempted from several other rules for hiring foreign workers, including restrictions on work experience, according to the council.

Foreign desk workers at companies in the pilot zones will not need to have two years of relevant work experience on top of their bachelor’s degrees and companies will not be required to have an annual revenue of NT$10 million to hire them.

The NT$47,971 level of salary is low compared with South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, the council said, arguing that removing the standard would “not be helpful” for the recruitment of talented international professionals and would affect employment conditions for Taiwan’s middle-level workers.

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