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Taiwan lifts ban on migrant caregivers changing employers

Employers of caregivers must arrange and pay for PCR test on 1st day of job

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(Getty Images photo)

(Getty Images photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Thursday (July 1) said that it is lifting its ban on migrant caregivers changing employers with immediate effect.

Amid cluster infections among migrant workers at high-tech factories in Miaoli County, the Miaoli County Government announced that effective June 7, all migrant workers were prohibited from venturing out of their residences. The MOL on June 8 ordered a ban on migrant workers switching employers, claiming the measure was to stem the tide of new COVID-19 infections.

However, after the number of new cases among factory workers in Miaoli County was brought down to zero, Miaoli County Magistrate Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) on June 28 said the ban on migrant workers venturing out of their living quarters would be lifted on June 29.

During a joint press conference with the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and MOL on Thursday (July 1), the ban on migrant live-in workers — such as domestic workers and caregivers — changing employers was lifted effective immediately. However, the ban is still in place for other categories of migrant workers, such as manufacturing, construction, and fishing.

The main condition is that employers of live-in workers must arrange and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test on their first day of employment. If employers fail to adhere to this regulation, they will be fined between NT$60,000 (US$2,100) and NT$300,000.

Migrant caregivers who test positive for COVID-19 must cooperate and seek medical attention, quarantine, and undergo treatment arranged by the health department. Migrant live-in employees who test negative for the coronavirus are advised to commence self-health monitoring and record their movements.

Employers who contravene the ban on the transfer of the remaining categories of migrant workers will face a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000.