A relaxation of standards for foreign laborers to allow them to change careers when they have been sexually assaulted, harassed by their employers or forced into labor by smugglers is being considered by the Ministry of Labor to better protect their rights.
According to the ministry, the standing regulations for foreign laborers wanting to change employers require that their prospective new employer be in the same business as their current vocation.
Cases of foreign laborers being sexually assaulted, harassed or beaten by their employers and incidents of human trafficking in recent years have highlighted the issue that laborers may not wish to stay in the same industry when they want to change jobs, the ministry said.
The ministry said that it is mulling relaxing the regulations for foreign laborers who take care of the elderly and hopes to implement a policy of these workers getting at least one day off a week to rest.
Families who employ foreign laborers at home are unable to balance the laborers’ workload and leisure time, the ministry said, and most families choose to pay higher wages for laborers to work overtime, but then they get no time off.
Due to protests by some disadvantaged families, who said that giving their foreign laborers days off left their elderly uncared for, the ministry is also considering the possibility of allowing such families to hire other laborers on an hourly basis.
However, the measure will first be tested in a foreign laborer domestic care and service industry project, to allow the ministry to better formulate a draft domestic labor protection act.
The ministry said it hopes that the new measures would allow specific organizations to recruit foreign laborers and dispatch them to families who wish to hire them on an hourly basis.
There are trial offices in New Taipei City and Greater Taichung, each with a roster of 50 laborers to choose from, the ministry said, adding that if the project is successful, offices would be opened in seven locations across the nation.
The ministry said it hopes to pass the new regulations by next month and that they would prove significant in paving the way for a draft domestic labor protection act and a draft long-term care service act.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that it recently completed a system allowing employers to link their application data to Chunghwa Post (中華郵政) or the Bureau of Labor Insurance and so cut down on paperwork.
“We expect more than 50,000 applicants for the service to benefit from the system,” the ministry said.
Minister of Labor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文) said that citizens should not employ foreign laborers illegally or take in foreign laborers of unknown origin, adding that failure to comply with the Employment Service Act (就業服務法) would result in fines ranging from NT$150,000 (US$4,900) to NT$750,000.
Chen said that violators would also have to shoulder the fees for housing the foreign workers and their repatriation.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
INFORMATION LEAKED: Documents from Xinjiang purportedly showed top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown and even orders to shoot to kill Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday held a videoconference with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as she visited Xinjiang during a mission overshadowed by fresh allegations of Uighur abuses and fears she is being used as a public relations tool. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and lawmakers in other Western nations have labeled a “genocide.” China denies the allegations. Bachelet was expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on a six-day tour. The US
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks