Sun, Aug 16, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ministry considers wage hike for foreign caregivers

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Labor yesterday said the monthly wage for foreign domestic helpers could be raised to NT$17,000 after being frozen for 18 years.

Deputy Minister of Labor Hau Feng-ming (郝鳳鳴) said the ministry would meet with officials from Indonesia, the Philippines and other labor-exporting nations later this month to discuss the matter.

“I have talked with the relevant nations almost daily on the matter,” Hau said.

He said the labor-exporting nations are taking a tough stance, demanding that wages be raised to NT$17,500, adding that he would invite officials from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand for discussions.

He said an increase in the monthly wage would take into consideration the value of food and lodgings provided by employers.

He outlined two possible options for a raise: One would be to follow the minimum monthly wage, with deductions for food and accommodation, while the other would be to raise the amount to about NT$17,000.

The national minimum monthly wage was last month increased from NT$19,273 to NT$20,008, but foreign domestic workers were not included because their pay is not covered by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).

The monthly wage for the 220,000 foreign domestic helpers in Taiwan has remained at NT$15,840 for the past 18 years.

Hau said that if a hike happens, the new monthly wage would be applied to newly arriving foreign workers this year, while wages for those already in Taiwan would be coordinated with the employers.

Asked what would happen if the negotiations fail, Hau said the ministry would consider cutting the number of imported foreign workers or explore new sources of foreign workers.

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