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Taiwan moves to tackle absconding Vietnamese workers

Taiwan moves to tackle absconding Vietnamese workers

Taipei, July 15 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor (MOL) introduced several measures to prevent foreign workers from absconding as it announced Wednesday the lifting of a ban on the recruitment of caregivers and fishery workers from Vietnam, with immediate effect. The measures include establishing a direct-hiring system, reducing brokerage fees and requiring that repatriation fees be paid by Vietnamese migrant workers if they are repatriated, according to the ministry. Since 2002, the absconding rate among Vietnamese workers has been the highest among all foreign workers. Due to the seriousness of the problem, coupled with unreasonably high brokerage fees, Taiwan imposed a ban on Vietnamese fishermen in May 2004 and froze recruitment of Vietnamese caregivers and domestic workers in January 2005. After the lifting of the ban took effect Wednesday, an estimated 10,000 Vietnamese workers are expected to be initially brought into Taiwan within three months, said Liu Chug-chun (???), the head of the Workforce Development Agency under the MOL. Hereafter, Vietnamese workers who come to Taiwan for the first time will be given 390 hours of training courses about regulations, Mandarin Chinese and domestic care services, Liu added. To cope with the high absconding rate, more stringent controls will be required by Vietnam, Liu said, adding that the Vietnamese government has promised to impose fines of NT$150,000 (US$4,833) on runaway workers and to forbid them from leaving the country for three years if they are found to have absconded from their jobs. The Vietnamese government will also be required to pay a repatriation deposit within one month after a Vietnamese migrant worker is reported missing. In the past, fees for the detention and repatriation of Vietnamese workers were shouldered by the Taiwanese government. In addition, Vietnam has also reduced the total expenses for labor exports to Taiwan, including the brokerage fees, from US$5,000 per worker in 2004 to US$4,000 per worker in 2014, said Liu. A direct-hiring system will be also set up, which could scrap the US$4,000 brokerage fees levied on Vietnamese migrant workers and the NT$20,000 brokerage fees on employers. Cutting the brokerage fees could indirectly boost the incomes of Vietnamese laborers working in Taiwan and reduce their motivation for running away, according to Liu. The ministry did not rule out the possibility of resuming the freeze on the recruitment of Vietnamese migrant workers if the high absconding rate is not reduced after the implementation of the more stringent measures, Liu noted. (Chang Ming-shun and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-18 16:42 GMT+08:00