Over 80,000 migrant workers in Taiwan stay put amid pandemic

Government arranging to limit flow of migrant workers to reduce coronavirus risk

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/07/13
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Eid al-Fitr event (MOL photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than 80,000 migrant workers in Taiwan have been able to stay at their current jobs or obtain other employment in the country as of June this year thanks to government efforts to reduce human flow amid COVID-19.

The Ministry of Labor's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has moved to reduce cross-border movement, suspend the introduction of foreign labor, and require employers to bolster disease management since the coronavirus outbreak. The measures are in line with the Central Epidemic Command Center in March raising its risk assessment of the coronavirus levels in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand — nations which are major sources of foreign workers for Taiwan.

A total of 82,324 migrant workers have had their contracts extended or been reassigned to other jobs as of June. The cases were recorded after the government introduced incentives encouraging employers to renew contracts for existing workers or recruit others who were already in Taiwan.

By the end of June, 726 employers had applied for a short-term permit — on a three or six months basis — to hire foreign nationals stranded in Taiwan due to the halting of international flights. In addition, 1,685 individuals have applied for three-month employment extensions.

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