By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Legislative Yuan on Friday approved the third reading of a
proposal to allow foreign family helpers to stay a total of 14 years in the country instead of the previous 12 years.
People taking care of infants, elderly or handicapped relatives can apply to have helpers from overseas stay with them, but there are limits how long they can live and work in Taiwan.
Under the existing version of the Employment Services Act, 12 years was set as the maximum period for a foreign helper. The proposed amendments which were approved Friday extend that period to 14 years, but it still forces each helper to leave Taiwan after each three-year period before returning.
The central government has also set conditions for the employment which include language ability, diploma, work experience and performance, reports said. Potential employers have to follow a relevant course and present evidence of that course when they apply for a foreign domestic helper.
Critics of the changes said they still did not go far enough, because the fact that a foreign helper had to leave Taiwan after three years played into the hands of middlemen and brokers who profited from the situation by charging high fees. [FULL STORY]