Taiwan employers encouraged to renew contracts of Indonesian workers

Indonesia supplies Taiwan with 276,000 workers, but has suspended export of labor due to virus

File photo of a migrant worker in Taiwan 

File photo of a migrant worker in Taiwan  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Labor on Friday (March 20) advised employers to renew the contracts of their Indonesian staff or find workers in other Southeast Asian countries, as Jakarta has banned exporting labor due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Indonesia’s suspension measures went into effect on Friday, ETtoday reported, causing concern among employers in Taiwan who rely on citizens of the Southeast Asian nation for factory work as well as social care. In order to address fears of the coronavirus, employers should rely on workers already in Taiwan and renew their contracts or find other new workers inside the country, the Ministry of Labor said.

Government statistics suggest the island nation has 276,000 workers from Indonesia, or 38 percent of the total. The 200,000 Indonesian caregivers make up about 70 percent of the total number of foreign caregivers, while 9,000 Indonesians amount to 70 percent of the 12,000 foreign fishery workers in Taiwan.

The 65,000 Indonesian factory workers occupy just 15 percent of the 439,000 foreign industrial employees, with Vietnamese, Thai, and Filipino citizens making up the majority. Foreign industrial workers who reach the maximum 12-year limit for work in Taiwan and caregivers who reach the 14-year limit will be allowed to extend their stay in the country for three months during the coronavirus outbreak, the ETtoday report noted.