An automated chatbot service for migrant workers on instant messaging app Line has been upgraded with automatic visa and employment status notifications, the Ministry of Labor said on Friday.
The “1955 E-Line” chatbot was set up in May by the Workforce Development Agency to give migrant workers easier access to COVID-19 prevention information, offering services in English, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai.
The upgrade would redirect users to the “1955 Line ID and Identity Binding” Web site, where they could sign up for the new function, the ministry said.
By signing up, the workers would gain access to services and notifications related to their personal employment and visa status in the four languages, it said.
The first feature of the update — which sends push notifications to subscribers reminding them of their employment expiration date — was activated on Friday, Ministry of Labor Workforce Management Division Director Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠) said.
The feature would send push notifications four months, 14 days and seven days before a worker’s employment period in Taiwan ends, which would give them enough time to plan their future employment in Taiwan, he said.
The agency is implementing the upgrade in response to the high number of migrant workers who have called the ministry’s 1955 hotline seeking help on a wide variety of issues, he said.
The hotline receives many complaints from migrant workers who say that they are facing language barriers when dealing with local regulations, as well as questions on their visa status, as they have limited access to their files, Hsueh said.
Migrant workers might lose track of their visa and employment status because their passports are often withheld by their employers, he said, adding that they often rely on their employers and job brokers to keep track of their status.
Since the chatbot was set up, more than 120,000 people have signed up and delivered 200 messages per subscriber on average, he said.
Seventy percent of the messages contained COVID-19 prevention information, 16 percent were about migrant worker rights and 14 percent were safety reminders, Hsueh said.
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