New plan calls for Taiwanese bosses to cover Indonesian workers' brokerage fees

Indonesia is working to guarantee zero costs for those who are going to Taiwan for work

(Photo source: Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Indonesia's revision of labor regulations calls for Taiwan employers to help Indonesian migrant workers to pay for broker charges, according to Indonesian labor officials on last Thursday.

Nurson Wahid, head of the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers, said the purpose of the "zero costs" plan to offer better working conditions for Indonesian nationals who work overseas, also protect their rights and prevent them from being exploited.

Foreign employers will be responsible for covering all expenses for caregivers they hire, including brokerage fees, airfares, visa fees, health check-up fees and job training fees.

On average, an Indonesian migrant worker has to pay estimated brokerage fees of NT$60,000 (US$1,972) over a period of three years which are considered very difficult for them to afford, said by Agusdin Subiantoro, deputy head of the agency.

And the amount of salary an Indonesia caregiver receives is around NT$17,000 per month.

Among the labor-exporting nations, Indonesia provides Taiwan with the most workers with 186,826 Indonesian caregivers in Taiwan, accounting for about 77 percent of the total number of foreign caregivers in the country, according to statistics from Taiwan's Ministry of Labor.

However, household caregivers are not covered under Taiwan's Labor Standards Act and therefore are not entitled to the statutory provisions of minimum wage and mandatory days off.

As a result, these workers have long protested, demanding better treatment and support from the government and employers. Therefore, the implementation of the "zero costs" plan is essential to protect Indonesian migrant workers.