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Foreign maid pay hike to be postponed: MOL

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Labor (MOL) yesterday promised not to implement the policy to increase the pay for foreign caregivers until coordinated measures have been completed.

Kuomintang lawmaker Yang Yu-hsin (楊玉欣) yesterday invited a mother of four surnamed Su, who has three disabled children requiring constant care, to a press conference and accused the government of ignoring the demands of families that have disabled members.

Su said she was unhappy after reading media reports stating that the ministry is scheduled to increase the pay of foreign domestic helpers in Taiwan and set down administrative guidelines that will ensure that all foreign caregivers have at least eight hours of rest daily and one day off weekly.

“The government cannot carry out policies without considering the effects and consequences they will bring to everyone,” said Su. “Our incomes did not increase, but somehow the government plans to raise the salary of the foreign caregivers.”

“Who will be there to help me take care of my children when the foreign caregivers enjoy their days off?” asked Su. “I understand that foreign caregivers have to get rest, but for us, we do not have such privilege.”

Su wept and said that the cost of hiring foreign caregivers is high, but they still have to pay employment security fees into a specific account for an employment security fund for the workers.

Yang said that there are about 740,000 people in Taiwan who are not able to take care of themselves, but there are only 40,000 Taiwanese caregivers, who usually request higher pay compared to the salary requested by foreign caregivers.

“Based on Su's case, the government's policies regarding foreign caregivers and the long-term care system have never been friendly to people who need the help,” said Yang. “Regulations such as foreign caregivers not being able to work here for more than 12 years or foreign caregivers having to leave Taiwan for one day after working here for over three years are what increase the burden for those families with disabled members.”

Official Response

Lai Chia-jen of the Ministry of Labor said that the long-term care system cannot be based only on foreign workers, so the labor ministry and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) will work together to come up with coordinated measures that will ensure the protection of the rights of families with disabled members.

“I understand the struggle and difficulties that families with disabled members have to face,” said Lai. “However, foreign caregivers also deserve the rights that we enjoy in Taiwan, so it is crucial for the government to provide care services that will help protect the rights of both the families with disabled members and foreign caregivers.”

Lai also said that the ministry will not ignore the rights of those employers who hire foreign caregivers when carrying out policies concerning them, and the officials will not launch those policies unless everyone can reach agreements on them.

July 11, 2014    curtisakbar@
“Who will be there to help me take care of my children when the foreign caregivers enjoy their days off?” asked Su.

How about you look after your own children and ask the family for help! Instead of trying to earn X to pay for Y. Live a modest life and look after your own family.
July 13, 2014    kingsolomon@
The best thing to do is hire robots because they can work until they malfunction. Robots don't need days-off and they don't ask for salary increase, too. One can save money because they don't need to eat. But if you hire work animals they need food and rest or they get sick and die. Now, human beings who work like animals with no days off and no food will also get sick and die. The best thing for the government to do is hire local workers for these families and pay the local workers their standard wages, that way Taiwan’s reputation in the international scene won't get soiled.
July 15, 2014    piawliangjohny@
If it's a burden for an employee to hire a domestic helper because of increase of salary then.. the mother should stay home and the father of the children pay her salary... for taking care of their children , cooking , cleaning , wash of clothes , sometimes need to help the children for their homework.... or sometimes go to other family member to clean their house also... if a mother goes to work she will only be working 8 hours.. five days a week.. the domestic helper should wake up 6 am to attend for the children prepare for school... after that.. some younger stay in the house to take care also... while looking at the small one she should do all the house chores, cleaning, laundry and some family have pets to attend too... so the house keeper will have a rest until the children go to bed and finish washing the dishes until 10 eve or 11 at night.... let’s face and look at the reality... if Taiwan people think that foreign workers are a threat for not have enough work for the locals.. then stop hiring foreign workers...
July 18, 2014    RosleemfoRmoso@
Excuse me but caregivers are not maids, what's the difference? In the times of war the caregivers shall survive, while the maids shall be executed, ask the Germans. Better understanding fluency in
English seems to be a problem here- caregivers different category maids.
July 21, 2014    curtisakbar@
True, maids and care-givers are different but they are usually grouped together as domestic helpers in this country.
July 21, 2014    michael_friend99@
First a maid is someone that cleans, second a caregiver is someone that helps old and sick people. Someone that takes care of children are baby sitters or nannies. And Yes Taiwan even if your a foreigner you are still a human. Human rights should allow for at least an eight hour rest break once every 24 hours. Three meals a day and a day off once a week. First my heart goes out to you. Lady you have three disabled children. After your first disabled child was born you didn't think you might need to take care of it? You chose to have more instead. Here is a thought when your care giver/ maid/ caregiver gets paid a living wage they will have to pay more tax which may help the Taiwan government pay you welfare so you can have the children you can not pay for.... Good luck!
July 22, 2014    johnny.brian@
It is really pathetic what Su said about increasing pay and day-off. Because the way it sounds like Maids/Care-givers are robots, don't day-off or rest, and still under pay for their services. Besides, the basic salary (NT$23K) for locals has a big gap compare to foreign workers (NT$14K). I felt really sorry for mother Su, who kept on bearing disable children. Please, don't generalize everyone has disable or elder family members to take care. If many mothers like Su, Taiwan has no hope because of disable children.
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