Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ease job laws for Chinese spouses: CLA

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Council of Labor Affairs Minister Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄) said yesterday that regulations governing the working rights of Chinese spouses of Taiwanese should be relaxed if the country is to treat this group fairly.

Wang said that since Chinese spouses are “daughters-in-law of Taiwanese elders” and mothers of Taiwanese children, they should be granted the same rights as people from other countries who are married to Taiwanese.

This means that Chinese spouses should be able to obtain work permits immediately after they are granted resident status, Wang said.

Speaking to the media at the legislature, she said social activists and Chinese spouses have long sought a relaxation of work restrictions.

Under the current law, Chinese spouses have to wait at least six years after marriage before they can obtain permission to work.

Noting that any change to the regulations will require amending the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), Wang said she believed the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus would support the amendments.

She also said the Democratic Progressive Party has not strenuously opposed the proposal.

Wang said once the Mainland Affairs Council approves the amended policy, the council would follow it.

Wang said she was not particularly worried that the proposed amendment might reduce job opportunities for Taiwanese, given that only about 20,000-odd Chinese spouses, of the total 300,000, are currently eligible to work.

Besides, most of the Chinese spouses currently working are employed as caregivers or in the service sector at businesses such as restaurants, she said.

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