Mon, Dec 08, 2008 - Page 2 News List

CLA to include all foreign workers in direct hiring law

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Starting on Jan. 1, direct hiring of foreign labor will not be limited to caregivers but will include foreign workers in all industries, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday.

The CLA gave a one-year test run of the system by limiting applicants to caregivers that had finished their duties and needed to renew their employment contracts by leaving and then re-entering Taiwan.

The Direct Hiring Service Center was set up last December to help Taiwanese find foreign caretakers.

The center’s main objective is to streamline the process of hiring foreign caregivers and protect foreign workers from exploitation by employment agencies.

Starting next year, returning foreign workers in all industries, including manufacturing and construction, would be eligible to apply, the CLA said.

Foreign workers will save on agency fees, while their employers will benefit from shrinking the amount of time during which their foreign employees must return to their home countries to apply for renewal of the Approval Letter for the Employment of Foreign Labor, it said.

“The new system prevents foreign workers from being exploited by employment agencies that charge unreasonably high processing fees,” said Chen I-min (陳益民), director-general of the council’s Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training.

Only renewals, not new applications, will be eligible for direct hiring, he said.

“Taiwanese need not worry about losing their jobs,” Chen said.

The CLA will be able to accept applications as early as four months prior to expiration of the approval letter or 60 days before the foreign workers have stayed their limit of three years.

Upon approval, they will only need one day to return to their home countries and retrieve related documents before they can return to their old job in Taiwan.

This will decrease the need for their employers to find a temporary replacement during the hiatus.

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