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Brokers are not allowed under the law to charge migrant workers another placement fee- Taiwan Labor Ministry


Taipei, Taiwan- The Ministry of Labor (MOL) held a meeting of labor groups and employment agencies to resolve their different issue regarding service fees for migrant workers who wish to renew their contracts after three years in Taiwan.

At the meeting, the labor ministry said brokers are not allowed under the law to charge migrant workers another placement fee if they wi to renew their contracts after three years of employment in Taiwan.

In 2016, the Legislative Yuan passed the Employment Services Amendment Act, which removes the requirement that foreign workers must leave the country for one day after three years of employment, and must subsequently re-enter the country to continue work in Taiwan.

The amendment act also bans staffing agencies from charging workers further placement fees for re-entry. However, the ministry found that some staffing agencies have in many cases implemented new placement fees, which brings burden to migrant worker.

President Tsai Ing-wen and the ministry have touted the of the Employment Service Act provision as evidence that Taiwan offers a friendly work environment for migrant workers, but after enjoying all the political benefits that came with the amendments, neither has done anything about the problem with service fees,” the association said in a statement.

Huang Chiu-kuei, the director-general of the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), told reporters after the meeting that the brokers are asking for the rule on placement fees to be revoked because of the time and costs involved in the contract renewal process.

According to the Migrant Empowerment Network in Taiwan (MENT), migrants seeking to renew their contracts in Taiwan are typically charged a service fee of NT$20,000 to NT$100,000 by labor agencies.

It is commonplace for brokers in Taiwan to charge the fee, known by migrant workers as "job-buying fees" as their brokers call it, especially following the 2016 amendment to the Employment Service Act, according to MENT.

Chen Hsiu-lien, a member of the Taiwan International Workers' Association (TIWA), said brokers that complain about rising operating costs should disclose to the public the exorbitant fees they charge both employers and migrant workers.

After meeting, the MOL said that every parties said thier views on the issue and it will continue its efforts to help resolve the differences.


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