Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Labor ministry to strengthen foreign worker protections

TAKEN AWAY:Employers found to have confiscated foreign workers’ IDs would be fined up to NT$300,000 and would be banned from hiring such workers

Staff writer, with CNA

The Employment Service Act (就業服務法) is to be amended to further improve protections for foreign workers, the Ministry of Labor said on Friday.

Fines for employing illegal foreign workers would be based on the number of workers, instead of on a case-by-case basis, Cross-Border Workforce Management official Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠) said.

Fines are currently NT$150,000 to NT$750,000 (US$4,974 to US$24,871) regardless of how many foreign workers are illegally employed, but after the amendment is applied, the fine would be multiplied by the number of workers, he said.

For example, if an employer hires 20 illegal workers, the fine would be NT$3 million to NT$15 million, he said.

There would also be provisions to dissuade employers from confiscating foreign workers’ ID cards and passports, Hsueh said, adding that employers found to have taken IDs without an appropriate reason would be fined NT$60,000 to NT$300,000 and forbidden from employing foreign workers.

If an agent is found guilty of sexually abusing, sexually harassing or trafficking foreign workers, a fine of NT$300,000 to NT$1.5 million would be handed down in addition to a ban from working as an agent, he added.

If employers or care recipients are found guilty of sexually abusing or trafficking foreign workers, they would be banned from employing such workers for two to five years, while repeat offenders would be banned for life.

Agents who are found to have prior knowledge of an act of abuse by an employer, but failed to disclose it to the authorities within 24 hours would be fined NT$60,000 to NT$300,000.

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