The National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BNPTKI) of Indonesia aims to rid migrant workers of all expenses before they go abroad starting from January 2020.
The announcement has caused some concerns among Taiwan employers who will be responsible for most of the migrant workers’ expenses, including travel tickets, training fees, passports and visa fees.
The spinal cord injury association (中華民國脊髓損傷者聯合會) led nearly 100 disabled employers to protest against the new policy in front of The Ministry of Labor (勞動部) on Aug. 27, demanding the government to toughen up on the issue and negotiate with Indonesian officials.
The Ministry of Labor responded that it had sent the Indonesia government an official letter requesting an explanation.
The Central News Agency (CNA) quoted the director of the association, Chen Shan-xiu (陳善修), who said that many Taiwanese employers have recently received messages from manpower agencies saying they will bear all costs of the caretakers’ pre-departure fees starting next year.
He added that BNPTKI is trying to transfer the costs of bringing in migrant workers to Taiwanese employers without negotiating with Taiwan officials first.
He stressed that most of the employers who hire foreign caretakers are disabled people who are economically disadvantaged, and the sudden requirement for employers to bear a cost of NT$70,000 to NT$100,000 will definitely put many families in a struggling situation.
He asked the Ministry of Labor to negotiate with Indonesia on behalf of employers.
In response, The Ministry of Labor pointed out that according to the agreement of a bilateral meeting between Taiwan and Indonesia in 2013, any changes in labor policy must be coordinated through communication and must be explained proactively by Indonesia.
The Ministry of Labor claimed that it has not yet received any official explanatory documents from Indonesia. It has already issued an official letter through diplomatic channels to request clarification.
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