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Taiwan hikes migrant workers’ pay

Taiwan’s labor ministry has raised the monthly minimum pay of migrant home-based caregivers and household service workers, the labor department reported on Sunday.

The new rates, which took effect on August 10, will benefit both arriving migrants and those who are signing new contracts with their employers in Taiwan.

Citing a report from Labor Attaché Cesar Chavez Jr. of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Taipei, DOLE said the 17.6 percent increase in monthly pay is the first granted by the Taiwan government since 2015 where migrants receive NT$8,250 lower than Taiwanese careworkers.

The minimum wage committee of the Ministry of Labor has now pegged the monthly pay for migrant workers at NT$20,000 (US$665.70) from the previous NT$17,000 (US$565.90) a month, the POLO report said.

Migrant workers who had signed contract with their employer prior to August 10 are not covered by the new rate, the POLO report added.

“The labor ministry has also advised Taiwanese employers that in order to encourage worker retention, salaries should be increased by NT$1,000 after three years and another NT$1,000 for workers who are six years in service,” Chavez said in his report.

The POLO report also noted that for low-income and low-middle income employers to be able to pay the new wage rate to their workers, they will be entitled to a NT$3,000 monthly government subsidy for the next three years or a maximum of NT$108,000.

Chavez said that for Taipei alone, the POLO processed about 2,400 requests for caretakers and household workers from May to August 9.

“It is estimated that around the same number of OFWs will be benefitted directly by the wage increase,” Chavez said.

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