TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's labor ministry said migrant workers should notify the authorities if their employers or placement agencies charge them for home quarantine costs.
Violators will face a stiff fine. Brokers will additionally have their operations suspended for one year, and employers will also be disqualified from hiring foreign workers.
The Workforce Development Agency at the Ministry of Labor said it had received complaints from migrant workers claiming they were asked to pay more than NT$20,000 (US$700) for their 14-day quarantine expenses. According to the law, each migrant worker must undergo a 14-day home quarantine and observe quarantine restrictions upon arrival.
This is mostly treated as unpaid leave by employers, but qualified migrant workers can apply for quarantine compensation that is NT$1,000 per day.
Expenses incurred during the quarantine period, including accommodation, must be covered by the employer or placement agency. They cannot claim the compensation paid to individuals in quarantine.
There have been complaints from migrant workers that their employers and brokers refused to cover quarantine expenses. They said money for quarantine expenses had been deducted from their wages.
The labor authorities said that if migrant workers were forced to pay quarantine fees, they could call a hotline (1955) and seek help. Employers and placement agencies will be punished if they charge for quarantine.
This includes a fine of up to NT$300,000 (US$10,524) and disqualification from recruiting or employing a foreign worker for employers; plus a fine of 20 times the amount charged to migrant workers, and suspension of operations for no more than one year for brokers.