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Gov't loosens regulations on foreign worker limit

The government has loosened regulations on the hiring of foreign workers in companies, yesterday.

While debates on whether to increase the maximum foreign workers restriction above 40 percent continue, Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉), the new minister of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), insisted that the limit will remain 40 percent.

A consensus was reached that companies with new investment projects are allowed to increase 5 to 10 percent of foreign workers, as long as it limits the maximum amount of foreigners to 40 percent; they will also be eligible to waive payment fees to the employment stability fund for three years.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that companies who request a 10-percent increase of foreigner workers need to meet certain criteria, depending on the amount of their investments or the types of industry they belong to.

Former CLA Minister Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄) had insisted that payments to the fund would increase between NT$6,000 to NT$10,000 for employers who requested for a 5 to 10-percent increase. Officials of the economy-related branches insisted that the payment would increase only NT$1,000 to NT$2,000, or NT$2,000 to NT$4,000.

In response to companies that offer 3D jobs (dirty, dangerous, difficult; referred to as 3K in mandarin) complaining of worker shortage, the government has devised plans to loosen the restriction limit on foreign workers. Fearing that the influx of foreign workers will affect domestic workers' job opportunities, the CLA has decided to stand firm on the 40-percent limit, as well as maintain the high fee that employers of foreign workers are required to pay to the employment stability funds.

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