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Taiwan gov’t urges employers: keep migrant workers long-term

by Jericho Zafra

TAIWAN’s Ministry of Labor (MOL) urged more local companies on Friday to register for a new labor program that allows them to, if they accomplish certain requirements, extend the 12-year contractual limitation of their migrant workers.

The Ministry of Labor (MOL) issued a press release asking more local firms to assist their migrant employees in applying for the long-term retention of skilled foreign workers program, Taiwan’s CNA said in a report.

This program was initiated on April 30 this year.

Since the program began, some 1,047 of 1,835 applicants have been reclassified as intermediate skilled workers and prolonged their stay in the country, according to Chen Chang-pang, director of the Cross-Border Workforce Affairs Center under the MOL’s Workforce Development Agency.

Pursuant to the terms of the scheme, if a worker’s application is granted, the worker will be recategorized as an intermediate-skilled worker in Taiwan’s workforce. 

Also, the migrant worker’s legal residential status in the country will continue to be unlimited following the completion of their initial 12-year contract.

Migrant employees with exemplary work performance track records are eligible for the program. Concurrently, international students who have graduated with an associate’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university are also eligible to apply, the media report said.

“Employers of these migrant workers may apply to reclassify their employees and hire or rehire them as intermediate skilled workers,” it said.

Manufacturing, construction, agriculture, fishing, and caregiving are some sectors in which employers are entitled to nominate their migrant employees for participation in the program.

Taiwan hosts more than 160,000 Filipino migrant workers, including those married to Taiwanese nationals and those with permanent residency, according to Cesar Chavez, the country’s Labor Attache to Taipei.

Of this total, some 142,000 are overseas Filipino workers, where 115,000 (85 percent) are in the manufacturing industry.

Some 40,000 Filipino migrant workers returned to Taiwan last February after the Taiwanese government lifted the entry suspension of Filipino workers following the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo Credit: cdc.gov



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