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June 24, 2017

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CLA to crack down on abuse of foreign laborers

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA, 勞委會) yesterday announced that mistreatment and breach of contractual terms will result in the revocation of employers' approval to hire foreign workers, in addition to increased penalties for a number of other labor-related infractions.

According to the CLA, the most common infractions committed by employers of foreign workers include demanding domestic helpers to work at restaurants, other businesses and the homes of friends and relatives in addition to household tasks.

In the past, if instances of infractions are discovered, employers are only liable for fines, however, effective immediately offending employers may face having their approval to hire foreign workers reassessed, said the CLA. Repeat offenders will have their approval to hire foreign workers revoked, the CLA said. Previously, fines ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$150,000 were levied on offending employers who demand foreign nurses and infirmary care professionals to perform household tasks. Following revised regulations, employers will face significantly heavier penalties. Employers may have their approval to hire foreign infirmary care professionals revoked, and barred from hiring all foreign workers henceforth.

The CLA also stated that employers known to have initiated unpaid leave among its workforce will be denied the right to hire replacement foreign workers to complete the same tasks in addition to severe fines. Prior to laying off Taiwanese workers, employers must first inquire as to whether they are willing to perform tasks assigned to foreign workers before they may apply for approval to hire foreigners, said the CLA.

Intimidation, human trafficking, unlawful detainment, threats and assault conducted by employers of foreign workers will result in prosecution, said the CLA, adding that detainment by law enforcement is enough to revoke an employer's authorization to hire foreign workers.

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