Wed, Mar 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Indonesia signals easing of domestic worker travel ban

Staff writer, with CNA

Jakarta is to continue allowing Indonesian domestic helpers to work overseas if there is a need for them, and if working conditions in foreign nations have improved, an Indonesian labor official said.

Jakarta last year said that it would prevent Indonesians from working abroad as domestic helpers as of this year.

However, during an interview with reporters, National Agency for the Protection and Placement of Indonesian Migrant Workers director Soes Hindarno said that if nations have a great need for Indonesian migrant workers and if there is a shortage of job opportunities in Indonesia, Jakarta would impose “a soft policy,” meaning that it would continue to allow domestic helpers to work abroad.

Separately, agency deputy director Agusdin Subiantoro said that Jakarta is planning to raise the issue of increasing monthly wages for its domestic workers in Taiwan.

Indonesian domestic caregivers in Taiwan earn an average of NT$17,000 per month, while migrant factory workers are paid about NT$21,009 in line the monthly minimum wage, which this year was increased from the previous NT$20,008, Agusdin said.

Jakarta is seeking to narrow that gap, and plans to ask Taipei to raise the monthly wage for Indonesian home helpers and domestic caregivers to NT$19,000, he said.

Indonesian officials would raise the issue later this year during a meeting with Taiwanese officials and Jakarta would adopt a firm stance, he said.

According to the Ministry of Labor, as of last year Indonesia was the largest source of migrant workers in Taiwan, accounting for 245,180 of the total of 624,768.

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