TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (July 12) said it is lifting its remaining ban on migrant workers changing employers effective Tuesday (July 13).
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Deputy CECC chief Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) announced that there have been fewer than 50 confirmed COVID cases per day since July 2. In order to meet the needs of domestic companies and the rights and interests of migrant workers, all migrant workers will be able to transfer to other employers starting Tuesday.
With local COVID infections still climbing at the time, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) on June 6 banned migrant workers from changing employers and transferring to different work sites. 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.
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 leaving their quarters would be lifted on June 29. As cases continued to drop significantly, the MOL on July 1 announced a partial lifting of the ban on job transfers by allowing migrant caregivers to change employers.
The main condition of the lifting of the ban was that employers of caregivers were required to arrange and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test on their first day of employment. Now that the ban has been lifted for all migrant workers, the requirement for new employers is that they must ensure their employees undergo a PCR test three days before their first day on the job, with the cost of the test covered by the employer.
If an employer fails to ensure that their workers are tested within this time period and isolated before the results come back, they will be fined between NT$60,000 (US$2,100) and NT$300,000. If the employer entrusts a labor broker with managing the testing of the workers and fails to follow regulations, the broker will be subject to the same fine.
Migrant workers who test positive for COVID-19 must cooperate and seek medical attention, quarantine, and undergo treatment arranged by the health department. Migrant employees who test negative for the coronavirus are advised to commence self-health monitoring and record their movements.