MOL calls for crackdown on illegal foreign workers
March 18, 2014, 12:10 am TWN
TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Labor Affairs called Monday for maximum fines for employers of illegal foreign workers in the face of the problem of a large number of absconding foreign workers.
Labor Minister Pan Shih-wei said he will urge local governments to slap the maximum fine of NT$750,000 (US$24,732) on employers caught employing illegal foreign laborers, and a maximum fine of NT$500,000 on illegal labor brokerage agencies.
There are currently 480,000 foreign workers in Taiwan, and the unaccounted for ratio has ranged between 3.1 percent and 4.1 percent over the past five years.
As of the end of January, the number of unaccounted for foreign laborers had reached 41,651 and according to the ministry, they could pose a potential security problem, given the limited manpower available to crack down on them.
Pan noted that the absconding workers are usually seeking higher pay or are lured to illegal jobs by other foreign workers when their employment contracts are coming to an end. Some also run away because they have difficulty adjusting to their working environments or getting along with their employers and the families for which they work.
Pan also said that brokerage agencies will be penalized if the number of unaccounted for foreign laborers on their books reaches a certain ratio.
The agencies will not be allowed to set up additional branches if their ratio reaches a certain level. Their licenses will not be renewed and they will be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000.
Pan made the remarks as his ministry delivered a report on stepped-up action against unaccounted for foreign laborers to a legislative committee.
The report said the ministry will establish a cross-government agency crackdown mechanism and will offer up to NT$50,000 in cash rewards to people who report illicit employers and brokerage agencies.
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