Rights and Obligation of Foreign Workers

  • Definition of Foreign Workers:
    The foreign workers specified in this website are the foreigners permitted to be introduced to work by Council of Labor Affairs for the work prescribed in Sub-paragraph 7, 8 and 9, Paragraph 1, Article 43, Employment Service Act.
  • Foreign Labor Policy:
    For the purpose to fulfill the economic and social needs of the country, foreign workers are introduced to meet the labor shortage in limited trades and quantities. It is with this principal in mind that introduction of foreign workers are measures to help resolve the labor shortage problems in stead of changing or lowering labor conditions of local workers. Currently, CLA adheres to the following premises while approving the introduction of foreign workers.
    1. Employment rights and interests of local workers must be protected:
    The introduction of foreign workers is to resolve the labor shortage problem of the country but not to replace the employment opportunities of local workers. Thus, the employers shall first advertise for recruitment of local workers and shall not refuse the job applicants without proper reasons. As a result, employment rights and interests of nationals will not be violated and labor conditions of the country will not be lowered.
    2. Foreign workers shall be prevented from becoming covert immigrants:
    As Taiwan is a small island with large population, it is beyond its capacity to accept immigrants. In light of the above, the working duration of foreign workers in Taiwan is limited in order that foreign workers will not become covert immigrants.
    3. Social problems resulted from foreign workers must be curbed:
    To avoid the introduction of foreign workers will resulted in social problems, it is necessary to have restrictions on quantities of foreign workers. Meanwhile, CLA stipulated that foreign workers shall submit NBI clearance issued by the government of his/her country and medical examination certification in accordance with the testing items regulated by the ROC. The basic rights and interests of foreign workers shall be protected to avoid social problems.
    4. No impediment to industrial upgrading and economic development of the country:
    In order that industries become overly dependant on foreign workers, the ROC government imposed restriction on trades, quantities and working duration for employers to recruit foreign workers. As a result, there will be no impediment to industrial upgrading and economic development
    5. Illegal workers shall not allow to become on-site legal workers:
    For the purpose to maintain the dignity of the laws and establish an environment of fair competition, the ROC will enhanced to track down and repatriated illegal workers.
  • Trades of Foreign Workers:
    According to Sub-paragraph 8 to 10, Paragraph 1, Article 46, Employment Service Act and Article 3, Measure for Recruitment Permit and Management of Foreign Workers, CLA will evaluate supplies and demands of all trades in accordance to domestic economic development and trends of labor market in order to regulate upon and designate trades and quantities of foreign workers to be recruited. Currently, foreign workers are allowed to work in the following industries.
    1. Traditional manufacturing industry:
    The employers having quotas to recruit foreign workers can apply for re-recruitment while the original foreign workers finish their contract. Nonew quotas are opened currently. When employers apply for re-recruitment after termination of contract, 10% of the original quota will be decreased according to the regulation.(A new directive was issued on Oct.8.2002 that one foreign worker shall be reduced when recruiting 3 domestic workers. And at least 5% of the foreign workers shall be reduced.)
    2. Major investment manufacturing industry:
    For traditional industries(not belonging to the High-Tech Industry) (with an investment over NT200 millions),the criteria for criteria for quota application of foreign workers is 20 % of the Reasonable Production Line Workers regulated by Ministry of Economic Affairs.
    And the quota will be given according to the actual numbers of employed domestic workers.
    For non-traditional industries (Hi-Tech Industry) (with an investment over NT 500 millions), the criteria for quota application of foreign workers is 15% of the Reasonable Production Line Workers regulated by Ministry of Economic Affairs.
    And the quota will be given according to the actual numbers of employed domestic workers. When employers apply for re-recruitment after termination of contract and the quota of foreign workers does not exceed 30% of domestic workers, 10% of the quota shall be decreased. (A new directive was issued on October 8,2002 that one foreign worker shall be reduced when recruiting 3 domestic workers.
    And at least 5% of the foreign workers shall be reduced.) For the employers with quota of foreign workers exceeding 30% of domestic workers, the exceeding percentage shall be reduced first, then 10% be decreased. (A new directive was issued on October 8,2002 that one foreign worker shall be reduced when recruiting 3 domestic workers.
    At most 15% of the quota shall be reduced. However, if employers recruit domestic workers, then one foreign workers shall be reduced when recruiting 3 domestic workers and at least 5% of the quota shall be reduced.)
    3. Construction industry:
    The employers having quotas to recruit foreign workers can apply for re-recruitment while the original foreign workers finish their contract. No new quotas are opened currently. when employers apply for re-recruitment after termination of contract, 10% of the original quota shall be decreased according to the regulation.
    4. Major construction projects:
    1. The companies winning contract of major construction project after May 16, 2001 shall not apply for recruiting foreign workers.
    2. For the companies winning contract of major construction project prior to May 16, 2001, according to a CLA directive on August 31, 2000, the percentage of the quotas will be decreased from 50% to 30%.
    5. Domestic helpers:
    Currently, except for special applications like the CEO of a foreign company with an investment amount over NT$ 100 million or managers of a foreign company with an investment amount over NT$ 200 million, or a family with children or elderly over 16 points can apply for foreign maids, other applications are not accepted.
    6. Caretakers (including families and nursing organizations):
    Criteria for families to apply for foreign caretakers:
    Currently applications are strictly examined. According to a revised directive by CLA dated July 27, 2001, the wards shall be seriously physical or mentally disabled, and meet the criteria for being Specific Illnesses and obtain a diagnose signed by doctors. Special Illnesses contain 36 items. If the patient suffers from an illness prescribed in Item 1 to 24, the total score of his/her Barthel's Score shall not exceed 30 points. If he/she suffers from the last stage of cancer prescribed in Item 25, the score shall not exceed 40 points. If he/she suffers from an illness prescribed from Item 26 to 36, other evaluations instead of Barthel's Score will be needed.
    Criteria for nursing organizations to apply for foreign caretakers:
    (a). The public and private elderly welfare organizations registered by the government (including caring centers and nursing centers) can apply for recruiting foreign caretakers according to the actual numbers of people sheltered. The criteria is that every 3 patients can be deployed with 1 foreign caretaker.
    (b). The nursing organizations registered by health authorities concerned can apply for recruiting foreign caretakers according to the numbers of sickbed proved and registered. The criteria is that every 5 sickbeds can be deployed with 1 foreign caretaker.
    7. Fish Crews (Inshore Fish Crews):
    (a). The owner of a fishing boat (weight over 20 tons) can file applications. according to a CLA directive in Year 2002 ,No. Lao-Chi-Wai 0218456.
    (b). The owner of a fishing boat (weight under 20 tons) can file applications according to a CLA directive on May 3,2002, No. Lao-Chi-Wai 0910203208.
  • Labor Sending Countries CLA started to introduce foreign workers to Taiwan since 1989. Currently, the labor sending countries deploying workers to Taiwan include Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
  • Tips for Working in Taiwan
    1: Working within the territory of the ROC is not allowed without permission:
    A foreigner who has not obtained a work permit applied by employers shall not be recruited to work within the territory of the Republic of China.
    2: Limitation on working duration:
    The maximum duration of a foreign worker to work in Taiwan is 2 years; the employers may apply once for an extension of no more than 1year upon expiration of contract. In the event of major construction projects and under special circumstances, the employers may apply for an additional extension of a maximum length of 6 months. A foreign worker may re-enter Taiwan to work after departure for at least 40 days for reason of no violation of laws and regulations after fulfiling work contract. However, the accumulated duration of employment shall not exceed 6 years.
    3: Transferring of employer is not allowed without permission:
    Foreign workers shall not transfer to other employers without permission and shall not allow to be recruited by employers other than those prescribed in permits.
    4: Regulations concerning changing of work site:
    (a). The caretaker may change his/her work site due to the moving of the ward, and the domestic helper may change his/her work site due to the moving of the employer. Both the said workers only need to report the moving to local land authorities instead of applying for permit.
    (b). Except for those foreign manufacturing and construction workers who meet the criteria for assignment, the other foreign workers shall not change work site at will. (For detailed information please refer to “Assignment of Application for Work Permit” of this website.)
    5: Engagement in work not prescribed in work permit is not allowed:
    The work in which foreign workers engage shall be limited to the one prescribed in the work permit. Currently, foreign workers are not introduced to engage in the service industry (such as restaurants, department stores, etc.) Meanwhile, the foreign workers in the construction industry shall only engage in the trades stipulated by the directives of CLA, but not in related jobs which require certificates (such as professional drivers, operators of cranes.) In light of the above, if employers committee in violation of laws, foreign workers may file complaints to related authorities (such as representative offices of labor sending countries in Taiwan, local labor authorities, or local Counseling and Service Centers for Foreign Workers), or file complaints through the Toll-Free Lines of CLA.
    6:
    No stealing, taking away farm products belonging to other people, addiction to drugs, holding of drugs (Linkage to National Police Administration, Ministry of Interior for penalties concerned.)
    7:
    None violation of other rules and regulations of the Republic of China.
  • Penalties for Illegal Workers
    1.
    The foreign workers who engage in work without permit shall be penalized with a fine of no less than NT$ 30,000 but no more than NT$ 150,000 and shall be compelled to leave the country.
    2.
    The runaway foreign workers who engage in work shall be penalized with a fine of no less than NT$ 30,000 but no more than NT$ 150,000 shall be compelled to leave the country, and shall no longer to be recruited to work in Taiwan. However, according to the Draft of Revised Employment Service Act, the foreign workers who perform well may re-enter to Taiwan to work.
  • Schedule of Placement Fees
    1.
    Basis: The schedule of fees is made by “Schedule of Fees Collected by Private Employment Service Agencies ”.
    2. Contents:
    (a). The fees which private employment service agencies collect from foreigners and employers concerning introduction of foreigners to Taiwan employers: a. Foreigners: Taiwan private employment service agency shall not collect the registration fee and introduction fee from the foreigners. b. Employers: The amount of the registration fee and introduction fee shall be negotiated by private employment service agencies and employers.
    (b). The service fees which private employment service agencies collect from employers concerning the following service items during the period of employment contract of the foreigners prescribed in Sub-Paragraph 8 to 10, Paragraph 1, Article 46, Employment Service Act: a. Application of recruitment permit, extension of recruitment permit, replacement, etc. b. Report of physical examination of foreigners. c. Services concerning regular or irregular counseling, assistance or translation, etc by request of the employers.
    (c). The private employment service agencies may collect the following fees concerning service; transportation or examination from the foreigners prescribes in Sub-Paragraph 8 to 10 Paragraph 1, Article 46, Employment Service Act. However, the fees shall not be collected in advance except the service and transportation fee may be collected per three month and shall return to the foreigners in the proportion of no service month if terminate service. The total amount of the service and transportation fee per month in first year shall not exceed NT$1,800, second year shall not exceed NT$1,700, third year shall not exceed NT$1,500. a. Processing costs for physical examination and fees of transportation assistance . b. Fees of airport assistance and transportation. c. Fees of taxation. d. Services concerning regular or irregular counseling, assistance or translation, etc by request of the foreigners.
    (d). The private employment service agencies shall negotiated with the employers or foreigners in written documents for the collection of the fees prescribed in Item 2 and 3.
    (e). The private employment service agencies shall not collect the fees other than those stipulated in “Standard for License Fee and Other Fees Collected by Private Employment Service Agencies ” from the foreigners.
  • Insurance
    1. How to carry and cancel Labor Insurance (for detailed information please refer to “Labor Insurance” of this website):
    (a). Carrying of Insurance: If the foreign worker is forced to carry insurance in the Labor Insurance Act, his/her employer shall submit the recruitment permit issued by CLA, ARC of the worker and a copy of passport of the worker to Bureau of Labor Insurance to carry the insurance at the date the worker begins to engage in work.
    (b). Cancellation of Insurance: Upon expiration of recruitment permit, early termination of contract or resuming work with different employers, the original employer of the worker shall apply for cancellation of insurance to Bureau of Labor Insurance.
    2. How to carry and cancel National Health Insurance (For detailed information please refer to the website of Bureau of National Health Insurance):
    (a). Carry of Insurance:
    All foreign workers having ARC shall carry health insurance. His/her employer shall apply for insurance to local branch offices subordinated to Bureau of Health Insurance within 3 days when the foreign worker meets the criteria for insurance.
    (b). Cancellation of Insurance:
    Within 3 days upon expiration, early termination of contract, or resuming work with different employers, the original employer of the worker shall apply for cancellation of insurance to Bureau of Labor Insurance.
  • Resuming Work with Different Employers
    1. Criteria:
    According to Article 50, Employment Service Act, the foreign workers engage in the work prescribed in Sub-Paragraph 7 to 9, Paragraph 1, Article 43 (namely the blue-collar workers), shall not change employers and work. However, if any one of the following events shall occur, the foreign workers shall resume work with different employers through the arrangements of local public employment service centers.
    (a). The death or emigration of the original employers or the persons who are being taken care of supervisor.
    (b). The vessels on which the foreign workers are employed have been impounded or sunk or repaired and cannot be operated.
    (c). The employers have closed the plants, ceased operations (tighten-up of business) or have violated the terms of compensation of the original contract for longer than 3 consecutive months.
    (d) Any other incidents or events which is beyond the control of the recruited foreign persons (such as disappearance of the employer).
    2. Period for announcement concerning resuming work with different employers:
    (a). Foreign workers in business: The announcement shall only be made twice by local public employment service centers. The period for each announcement lasts for 1 week. Thus, the total duration of the announcements will be about 2 weeks.
    (b). Foreign workers in families: It is the principle that the announcement last for 1 month.
    3. Notice:
    (a).Upon expiration of the announcement, if there is no employer willing to take over the foreign worker or the foreign worker has no intention to resume work with the new employer, then the original employer shall be responsible for the repatriation. In case of disappearance of the employer, local governments shall process the repatriation with police authorities.
    (b). Upon repatriation, manpower agencies shall refund the placement fee of the remaining months of the contract to the worker. However, in case of dispute, local governments will hold conciliation with the employer and manpower agency.
  • Master Employment Contract
    (For detailed information please refer to the website of CLA)
    1.
    The employer shall conclude master employer contract or recruitment contract with the foreign worker prior to arrival.
    2.
    The effective period of the contract shall not exceed the period of the recruitment permit issued by CLA.
    3.
    The contract shall be prevailed in Chinese, and shall be duplicated in the language which the foreign worker understands.
  • Wages and Work Time:
    (For detailed information please refer to the website of CLA)
    1. The industries to which Labor Standard Law is applicable:
    (a). If the foreign workers engage in the industries covered by Labor Standard Law (such as manufacturing industry, construction industry, etc.), his/her wage, work time, leave-taking, overtime working, redundancy shall be processed according to regulations stipulated in Labor Standard Law.
    (b). Summary of related rules of Labor Standard Law:
    Basic wage:
    Effective on October 16, 1997, the basic wage was stipulated as NT$ 15,840 per month, NT$ 528 per day, NT$ 66 per hour.
    Regular work time:
    A worker shall not regular work time in excess of 8 hours a day and 84 hours every 2 weeks.
    Extension of work time:
    For a male worker, the total numbers of overtime work shall not exceed 3 hours a day and 46 hours per month; and for a female worker, 2 hours a day and 24 hours per month.
    Payment of overtime working:
    Where the overtime does not exceed 2 hours, the worker shall be paid, in addition to his/her regular hourly wage, at least an additional 1/3 of his/her regular hourly rate. Where the overtime is over 2 hours, but does not exceed 4, the worker shall be paid in addition to his/her regular hourly wage, at least an additional 2/3 of his/her regular hourly rate.
    2. The industries to which Labor Standard Law is not applicable:
    If the foreign workers engage in the industries not covered by Labor Standard Law, his/her obligations and rights concerning wage, work time, leave-taking, overtime working shall be negotiated by the worker and the employer and be specified in the employment contract.
  • Taxation I. Tax Obligations:
    The foreign workers who live in Taiwan for less than 183 days in one tax year will be taxed at a rate of 20%. The foreign workers who live in Taiwan for 183 days or more in one tax ear will be taxed at a rate of 10%.
    Receipt of Tax Deduction:
    The employer shall provide receipt of tax deduction to the foreign worker while deducting tax from monthly salary.

Data source: Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training(Taiwan)