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Labor dispute of the foreign caregivers for the family

Following the issue of the aging society, the employment of foreign workers to share in the caregiving work has become an option for many people who are concerned with both work and taking caring of their family. By the end of 2016, there were 45,168 foreign workers. Among them nearly 80% were foreign caregivers for the family. The Labor Standard Law is not applied to the family foreign caregivers whose situation of work scope, working time and days off are distinguished with the employees of the business entity. Their basic protection and benefits are based on the contract made according to the negotiation between the employer and foreign worker prior to entering Taiwan.

The foreign worker for the family is introduced through their domestic employment agency to the Taiwanese employment agency offering the information and making the arrangement. With the limitation of manpower, time and knowledge of procedures and regulations of introducing the family foreign worker, the employer tends to entrust the domestic manpower employment agency to introduce the foreign worker. Therefore the relations among foreign worker, employer and employment agency are very close. If these relations are not stable, then a dispute is easy to arise.

The following are the principle 5 disputes that arise:

1. Contract dispute:

24 hours being together under the same roof with the person who needs caregiving, the employer and other family members, the foreign caregiver often encounters problems in the environment, being working inadequacy and misunderstanding. If the employer is not aware of the law and demands the foreign caregiver for the family to deal with the work beyond the contract, the foreign worker will extend the working time and will not have time to take a normal rest.

2. Keeping passport dispute:

To avoid the foreign worker from running away, many employers will keep the foreign worker’s passport, Alien Resident Certificate, and even the bank account. Some other disputes that may arise because the employer maintains the related certificate with the permission of the foreign worker, but the employer says that the certificate is lost when the foreign worker asks for it back.

3. Wage dispute:

Due to financial problems, many of the employers fail to pay regularly and even can’t afford to pay the family foreign caregiver. Some employers who are not aware of the law deduct the fee from the foreign caregiver for the employment agency. Actually except for the items and the amount available to be deducted from the wage stipulated by the law, the rest of the wage shall be directly paid in cash to the foreign caregiver. The other situation is that the employer out of good intentions pushes the foreign caregiver to save money in the bank.

4. Management dispute:

For the need of a constant and even 24 hour care by the
person who needs caregiving, when the family foreign caregiver intends to terminate the employment contract early, the employer refuses the early termination because they are concerned about the lack of care while waiting for a new replacement.

5. Employment Agency issue:

Since the employer needs to pay a certain fee to the employment agency for covering the introduction of foreign caregiver and dealing with the related process,the foreign worker and the employer have certain expectations on the employment agency’s profession.When the employment agency’s service fails to meet the expectations or the related charges appear dubious, a dispute will easily arise. When the foreign caregiver is charged some fees without proper reasoning, a dispute
will arise too.

In conclusion, the labor dispute is caused by many factors, which arise from living in the same household together. For protecting the working right of the foreign caregiver for the family, the “Employment Service Act” and the Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers” have made some related rules. The factors of being paid on time, the physical and mental health affect the stability of caregiving by the foreign worker for the family. Not being paid on time, the foreign caregiver will lose confidence in the employer and the employment agency and demand for a transfer to another employer or even run away. Consequently, the employer is supposed to be familiar with the related regulations and processes about the employment of foreign workers for the family and to treat them equally and respect them to avoid breaking the law and the labor dispute.

  • Hit: 151
  • Updated: 2017/7/27 14:26
  • Reviewed: 2017/7/27 14:25

  • Source: Department of Labor, Taipei City Government