Taiwan plans to raise the minimum monthly wage for live-in migrant caregivers and domestic helpers from NT$17,000 to NT$20,000, following progress in talks with Indonesia, where most of Taiwan’s caregivers originate, a labor official said on Thursday.
Indonesia last month agreed to exempt Taiwan from its zero-placement fee policy, and to resume processing applications of new caregivers to work in Taiwan after a series of talks, said Paul Su (蘇裕國), head of the Workforce Development Agency’s Cross-Border Workforce Management Division.
Indonesia in March halted Taiwan-based applications from new caregivers due to resistance from Taiwanese employers toward Indonesia’s zero-fee policy, which Su said has been introduced in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Photo: Taipei Times
Indonesia since 2000 has been pushing for foreign employers to pay workers’ placement costs, including flight tickets, passport and visa fees, and labor brokerage payments.
Ministry of Labor data as of June 30 showed that there were 218,372 migrant caregivers and domestic helpers working in Taiwan, including 164,786 from Indonesia, 27,315 from Vietnam and 25,867 from the Philippines.
The minimum monthly wage for live-in caregivers and domestic helpers is NT$17,000, lower than the national minimum wage, as such workers are not covered by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).
Only the 15,530 caregivers who work at care institutions are protected by the law, and earn the national minimum wage of NT$25,250, which also covers the 468,806 migrant workers who have industrial jobs in Taiwan.
Su said the proposal to raise the minimum wage would be sent to the employment security fund management committee of the Ministry of Labor for review before the wage increase can be formally introduced.
The committee passed a resolution in early July asking the Workforce Development Agency to submit a plan for the wage increase and supplementary measures, such as subsidies for disadvantaged employers.
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