TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Indonesia has postponed updating its migrant worker placement fee policy — a change that has provoked opposition from migrant employers in Taiwan — by six months, reports said Friday (Jan. 15).
The changes were initially due to take effect on Jan. 15, but they will now be postponed until July 15, CNA quoted the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI) as saying. The agency said local governments had not prepared adequate budgets for the changes.
According to the new policy, Indonesian workers' placement fees would have been shared between their overseas employers and local governments in Indonesia.
The changes would have been applied to 14 countries that import labor from the Southeast Asian country, including Taiwan, but Taiwanese employers have protested. As a result, Taiwanese government officials held a video conference with their Indonesian counterparts in December to discuss the issue. A second video conference scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 14) was called off at the request of Jakarta, CNA reported.
Under the change, overseas employers would be responsible for the migrant workers' airline tickets, visa and contract fees, payments to Indonesian labor brokers, and health checks before and after leaving Indonesia, as well as transportation to the airport in Indonesia and housing costs in the host country.
The local government in the worker’s home region would bear the cost of training and of obtaining proof of fitness for work, according to the report.
BP2MI chief Benny Rhamdani said he would resign if he is unable to implement the policy on the new target date of July 15. He said discussions about the reforms had been conducted with Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.