In a bid to rein in the growing number of undocumented foreign workers in the country, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday said that it would ask the public to report illegal activities, such as brokering the hiring of illegal workers, in exchange for large cash prizes.
The council yesterday announced that starting this month, cash prizes for people who report foreign labor violations or illegal foreign labor practices will increase by between two and five times. Those who report people who hire or harbor undocumented workers will receive NT$10,000 for one worker, NT$20,000 for two to four workers and NT$50,000 for five or more workers, if the council finds that the law has indeed been broken, said Fu Hui-chih (傅慧芝), chief of the foreign worker management division at the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training.
Those who report agencies that broker the hiring of undocumented workers can earn NT$20,000 for one worker and NT$50,000 for two or more workers, Fu said.
The council also aims to protect foreign workers from abusive treatment by handing out cash prizes to people who report instances of worker abuse: NT$10,000 will be awarded to those who report fewer than 10 cases of worker abuse once the council has verified an allegation, NT$20,000 for cases of 10 to 100 workers and NT$50,000 for more than 100 workers, Fu said.
The council said higher cash awards will be provided if the violations are severe, such as restricting a worker’s freedom and physical or sexual abuse.
The council said that it is aiming to cut the number of cases of foreign industrial workers and caregivers fleeing the workplace and becoming undocumented workers.
The number of foreign workers who are missing, performing undocumented work or who are on the run has risen in recent years. A recent report by the Control Yuan showed that the whereabouts of 32,927 foreign workers, out of a total of 374,126, were unknown.
Council officials said the rising number of runaway foreign workers could create problems because undocumented workers have no protection when their rights are not respected and they have no health or labor insurance.