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Which regulations should be noted when foreign workers come to work in Taiwan?

  • Source:National Immigration Agency, Ministry of the Interior
  • Date:2016/10/18
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I.Permitted Industries and occupation types:
1.Oceanic fishing jobs:
Performing ordinary sailors’ tasks except as captains, deputy captains, chief engineers, second engineers, engineers, radio operators, or pilots and their assistants of motor boats.
2.Housemaid jobs:
Performing house cleaning, food cooking, taking care of daily lives of members of households, or other related household service tasks.
3.Manufacturing Jobs:
Directly engage in the production of manufactured goods and other related physical tasks.
4.Construction Jobs:
Directly engaged in the construction work at construction sites or other related places, or other related physical tasks.
5.Institutional Nursing Jobs:
Taking care of daily lives for accepted disabled persons or patients in the stipulated institutions or hospitals.
6.Family Nursing Jobs:
Taking care of daily lives for disabled persons or patients in private households.
7.Bilingual Translation Jobs:
Performing translation tasks for foreigners hired to perform oceanic fishing jobs, manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, housemaid jobs, family nursing jobs and institutional nursing jobs.
8.Cooks and Related Jobs:
Performing food cooking tasks for foreigners hired to perform oceanic fishing jobs, manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, housemaid jobs, family nursing jobs and institutional nursing jobs.
II.Work Period:
1.The work permits for foreign workers who are invited to come to the Republic of China to work in fishing, manufacturing, construction, domestic helping, domestic caretaking, institutional nursing, etc. are limited to a maximum of 3 years. Should some major and special circumstances occur, the employer may apply for a further extension. The Executive Yuan shall prescribe the duration of such further extension. However, in the event of a major construction, the duration of such further extension shall not exceed 6 months.
2.The maximum permitted period for foreigners performing cooking jobs and bilingual translation jobs is 3 years. If the employer has the need to continue the employment upon expiry, an application for extension may also be filed.
3.Foreign laborers should leave the country before the expiration of their work permit. Those who have not violated local laws during the term of their work permits may apply to return to Taiwan for employment. The total time spent on working in Taiwan by those engage in fishery work, manufacturing, construction, household care, domestic nursing, institutional nursing, etc. should not exceed 12 years.
III.Employment Transfer (not allowed without approval):
1.If, during the time the foreign worker is working in Taiwan, situations arise in which the labor contract is terminated; for instance, if the employer or the caretaker's patient dies or migrates; the worker cannot continue employment because the employer's boat is seized, sinks or goes under repairs; the employer closes the factory, goes out of business or fails to pay wages in accordance with the contract, the employee or their employer must register a change of employer at CLA, the Executive Yuan.
2.Foreign workers cannot continue employment due to events which cannot be attributed to the workers, the foreign worker shall apply for approval a permit with CLA and register for change of employer or job at the website of the Workforce Development Agency before the transfer to new employers with the assistance of the Employment Service Centers. When being transferred, the workers shall not assume any other type of employment than the original one, except when: 1. The number of foreign workers does not reach the quota in the specified time frames of the hire permit;2. The new employer is qualified for employing foreign workers under CLA regulations, and the proportion or quota of the number of foreign employee is within limitations.In the cases mentioned above, the foreign workers can perform different types of works from their original ones.
3.If the foreign workers are unwilling to replace employers or the employer replacement procedure have been processed through the local service center but the foreign workers still cannot find an employer, the original employer should take responsibility of arranging the worker to leave the country. In the event the employers' whereabouts are unclear, the municipal or county/city government and the local NIA's service center will jointly handle arrangements for the worker's departure.
4.In situations in which the employee changes employers during the time working in Taiwan, the new employer shall apply for continuing the hiring permit with the CLA before expiry.
IV.Notice of related rights
1.Issues regarding foreign worker Pregnancy:

(1)Medical examination: The medical examination for female foreign workers under application for entry visa includes pregnancy test. If the foreign worker is pregnant, she will not pass the health examination and no entry visa will be granted. For health examinations carried out within 3 working days of their entry to Taiwan and after the completion of 6, 18 and 30 months of the work, pregnancy test are not required.
(2)Employment rights:

a.In the event that a foreign worker becomes pregnant during the time working in Taiwan, the employer can neither terminate the contract for this reason nor force the foreign worker to leave the country.
b.If any foreign worker in any industry covered by the Labor Standard Act such as manufacturing or construction industries becomes pregnant, the protection under the Labor Standard Act will be applicable. The foreign worker may ask the employer to reassign her to a job that is easier and consistent with the permit of the Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan.
c.For foreign workers who are not covered by the Labor Standard Law, such as domestic helpers and in home caretakers, etc., the employer cannot unilaterally terminate the contract due to the employee’s pregnancy. The contract should be negotiated between the employer and the employee.
(3)If the foreign worker could no longer continue with the same job due to pregnancy, besides causing inconvenience to the employer, this might lead to labor disputes and could affect the foreign worker's physical and mental condition. The CLA requests foreign workers that are sexually active to take necessary precautions such as the use of condoms and other contraceptives to ensure and protect their own rights.
2.Change of Work Location:

(1)The work location of foreign workers should be the same as the address provided on the employment permit.
(2)Any foreign worker performing general construction or manufacturing jobs may be relocated by the employer in accordance with the regulations to work in another project or factory under the same employer. If institutional nursing jobs are performed, the foreign worker may be relocated to a branch of the original institution.
(3)Any foreign worker performing family nursing jobs may change the location in accordance with the change of residence of the person taken care of. Such worker may also work in a healthcare institution when the person taken care of is hospitalized. However, if any foreign worker is relocated to any nursing home or chambers for the chronic or respiratory patients affiliated with the above-mentioned healthcare institution, the employer must first submit relevant documents to the Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan to seek approval before transferring the foreign worker together with the person taken care of to perform family nursing work in these locations. The period of relocation under each application shall not exceed 2 months. After expiry of this period, the employer may file an application for extension, provided that the total period of relocation within 1 year shall not exceed 6 months. The person performing housemaid jobs can also be relocated to the new residence to take care of the person taken care of.
3.Must not be engaged in work other than permitted:

(1)Foreign workers shall only perform the work listed on their employment permit and shall not engage in any other work other than permitted. For example, if a foreign worker performs construction jobs, the types of work that such worker may perform shall be those designated under public announcement by the Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan. Such worker shall not engage in any work that requires relevant licenses such as professional driver and crane operator.
(2)Any foreign worker performing housemaid works may, subject to the consent of the worker, be transferred to perform family nursing work pursuant to the original employer’s application with the Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan.
4.Placement Fees and Service Fees: To protect the rights of foreign workers, regulations concerning domestic and overseas brokers collecting placement fee and service fees are as follows:

(1)The monthly service fee paid by foreign workers to any Taiwan brokers shall not exceed NT$1,800 for the first year, NT$1,700 for the second year and NT$1,500 for the third year. For those who have completed two years or more of employment contract, gone back to their home country, and are re-processed for return and render employment to the same employer, they may be charged a maximum of NT$1,500 per month.
(2)The Taiwan broker shall sign a Services Contract with the foreign worker. The Service Fee shall only be collected after the itemization of services with the corresponding fees has been agreed upon by both parties and services are rendered.
(3)Foreign workers who apply for an entry visa are required to bring along with them the “Foreign Worker’s Affidavit Regarding Expenses Incurred for Entry into Republic of China to Work and the Wages” verified by the competent authority of labor-source country to Taiwan and handed to employers as one of the requirements for notifying a local labor authority of the arrival of a foreign worker within 3 days from date of arrival. As for expenditures incurred abroad including debt, such expenses should be described in the affidavit and verified by the labor-source countries.
5.Foreign Workers' Salary including food and lodging fees:

(1)According to Taiwan Labor Standard Act, the salary is fixed based on what is specified in the labor contract and may be paid in categories to insure fairness and reasonableness. Therefore, upon the mutual consent of the employers and the foreign workers, food and lodging fees may be subsumed under the item of salary and indicated in the contract prior to the arrival of foreign workers. The Council of Labor Affairs suggests that food and lodging deductions from the worker’s salary shall not exceed NT$5,000. The actual amount of deduction shall be negotiable between the employee and the employer according to the food and lodging provided and indicated in the employment contract.
(2)Foreign workers engaged in work as housemaids and in-home caretakers are not covered under the Labor Standard Act, whether the food and lodge are included in the salary, to protect the rights of both parties, an agreement between an employee and an employer shall be specified in the contract.
(3)If the employer and employee have agreed upon the amount of food and lodging fees by contract, the employer shall not change the amount of food and lodging unilaterally without the foreign worker’s consent. According to “Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers,” even if the employer and the foreign worker have reached a mutual agreement on making changes, the signed contract still cannot transgress the contents of “Foreign Worker's Affidavit Regarding Expenses Incurred for Entry into Republic of China to Work and the Wages” verified by the competent authority of the labor-source country. After the completion of the verification, any changes on the contents of the said affidavit that are unfavorable to foreign workers are prohibited.
(4)An employer shall pay full salary to the foreign worker, except when he/she is required to withhold the portion of the foreign worker's salary specified by the Taiwan regulations, such as national health insurance fees, labor insurance fees, food and lodging fees, income taxes and employee benefits. In addition, an employer also may not be entrusted by a third party to make any deductions for debt or loan payments from the foreign worker's salary. Employers of industrial foreign workers may pre-deduct the income tax from foreign workers’ pay in accordance with income tax regulation. For employers of private household foreign workers, because they do not fall into the category of “tax obligator,” they may not pre-duct the income tax out of the foreign workers’ pay.
6.If any foreigner’s right is infringed, please contact the following authorities:

Any foreign worker in Taiwan whose rights and interests of work have been infringed, who has suffered work disputes, labor exploitation, physical or mental harm (human trafficking) or illegal employment should contact the following organizations:
1955 Foreign Workers 24hrs Hotline Consultation and Protection Services
Foreign Workers Consultation Service Centers of each city or municipality
Taiwan international airports (Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport) foreign workers counseling and assistance service
V.Foreign workers' representative offices in the ROC (pdf file)
Foreign workers that have emergencies while in Taiwan or involved in a work dispute or suffered from sexual harassment, you can request assistance from your countries' representative offices in Taiwan that, after receiving the report, the case will immediately be transferred to the CLA for proper action.
Regulations about foreign workers in Taiwan are administered by the Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan. For details, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Labor of the Executive Yuan: Chinese WebpageEnglish Webpage
Address: 9F, No. 83, Section 2, Yangping North Road, Datong District, Taipei City
Telephone: 02-8590-2866

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  • Updated: 2016/11/16 16:02:00