TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Labor (MOL) is providing subsidies to foreigners who are underemployed or unemployed due to the serious outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan.
At a press conference on Thursday, the Cabinet announced its "Stimulus 4.0" (紓困4.0) package to provide relief to residents who have been affected by the recent outbreak and Level 3 restrictions. A number of government ministries are discussing ways to provide aid to foreign residents who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, with the MOL on June 9 extending its "Peace of Mind Employment Plan" (安心就業計劃) to a full 24 months.
Peace of Mind Employment plan
Under this plan, any legally employed worker, be they foreign or Taiwanese, can receive subsidies, so long as they have labor insurance (勞保). Under this scheme, Taiwanese and foreigners with employment insurance (就業保險) included with their labor insurance can receive a percentage of the difference between their lost salary and the amount of their employment insurance.
When calculating the subsidy, the MOL will look at the average monthly amount an employer insured (投保) their worker for over the course of a year. The maximum monthly employment insurance that an employee can be insured for is NT$45,800.
If a worker suffers a reduction in their work hours, the MOL will pay for 50 percent of the difference between the average monthly insured employment insurance amount and their remaining monthly salary.
For example, an employee prior to the pandemic was insured for NT$45,800 and had a salary of NT$50,000. However, due to the downturn caused by Level 3 restrictions, their weekly work hours have been cut sharply, and they are now only making NT$30,000.
The MOL will subtract that amount from the insured amount, which in this case is NT$45,800, yielding NT$15,800. They then calculate half of that amount, which would be NT$7,900.
This will be the subsidy that the underemployed worker would receive per month for a maximum of 24 months.
Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan
Another MOL plan, the "Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan" (安心即時上工計畫), offers part-time jobs for unemployed people. In the case of foreign nationals, only foreigners married to Taiwanese citizens can participate in this program.
Under the program, workers who have lost their jobs will be provided with simple, part-time jobs that will pay NT$160 per hour for no more than 80 hours per month. The maximum that a participant can earn per month is NT$12,800.
Workers can participate in this program for up to one year.
For more information about the Peace of Mind Employment Plan and Peace of Mind Immediate Work Plan, call 0800-777-888 or visit the Taiwan Jobs website.
As long as a foreigner was legally employed and had labor insurance before losing their job, they can qualify for unemployment benefits with the MOL. The formula for payment is 60 percent of their average monthly salary over the previous six months before they lost their job.
In the case of the worker who had been making NT$50,000, at 60 percent, they would receive NT$30,000 in monthly unemployment benefits. These benefits will be provided for up to six months.
To apply for unemployment benefits, visit the nearest local MOL employment service center (就業中心). Visit the Taiwan Jobs website to find the nearest employment service center.