Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Rules on foreign workers temporarily relaxed: CLA

LENIENCE Employers of foreign laborers won't be subject to health check or visa-related regulations for Aug. 24 and Aug 25 as a result of Typhoon Aere

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday that in light of Typhoon Aere, it will give considerations to employers whose foreign workers were not able to leave Taiwan promptly or go through the required physical examination upon their arrival to Taiwan.

As employers are responsible for ensuring their foreign workers depart the country before their work permits have expired -- and also for the mandatory medical checkups of all foreign workers upon their arrival -- the CLA said in a public statement yesterday that as long as employers are able to provide necessary paperwork to show that the delay in the process was affected by typhoon, it will give special consideration to these cases without imposing penalties.

Evidence Needed

Sufficient evidence would be an airline ticket stating the departure date of a foreign worker, the CLA said.

On the other hand, foreign workers are required to go through a medical checkup within three days after arriving to Taiwan. As long as employers provide evidence that the original physical checkup was scheduled to be done either on Aug 24 or 25, the CLA would discount the two typhoon days from the three-day time allowance.

"An employer who does not send his foreign worker off before the worker's last day [of his work permit expiration date] has violated the Employment Service Law (就業服務法)," said Tsai Meng-liang (蔡孟良), an officer with the CLA's Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training foreign labor department.

Article 44 of the Employment Service Law stipulates that "no one shall illegally accommodate foreign persons with work."

Exempt from Laws

Article 55 states that "an employer shall not engage in employing foreign persons without permission, or with the permission which has been invalidated, or with permission under other employer's name."

Employers who violate the terms within these two articles could be fined an amount of no less than NT$150,000 and not exceeding NT$750,000, the law says.

"However, according to the interpretation [Article 31] to the Constitution, which has been used as a government administration regulation, special considerations are to be given to situations when natural calamities make it unavoidable to abide by the law," Tsai said.

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