TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said Wednesday that a trans-ministerial discussion is taking place to determine whether the country should break away from the 12-year limit placed on how long industrial migrant workers are allowed to stay in Taiwan.
At a time when the introduction of migrant workers into Taiwan’s labor market is hitting a snag due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang said that there could be a change to the 12-year limit as a result of coordinated efforts to alter the country’s policies toward that group, per the Liberty Times.
Citing problems with a high percentage of COVID-19 cases among arriving Indonesian workers and Taiwan’s subsequent ban on their entry, Wang said the pandemic has caused difficulties for Taiwan’s industries and households in recruiting help from abroad; therefore, the expedient measure would be to keep those who are already here.
She explained that, currently, industrial migrant workers can work in Taiwan for a maximum of 12 years and that the idea on the table is to lift this arbitrary limit. As this is an important issue, a trans-ministerial discussion is taking place, but no conclusion has yet been reached, the minister said.
According to the Employment Service Act, foreigners who are household caregivers shall not work for more than 14 years in the course of their employment, while those who work in other professions may not exceed 14 years in aggregation.