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Taiwan, Indonesia seek to iron out migrant labor fee issues

Focus Taiwan, Taiwan, 24 December 2020 - Officials from Taiwan and Indonesia will convene in two weeks to resolve disputes regarding to the recruitment costs for Indonesian migrant workers after a meeting on Wednesday left a number of issues pending, according to Deputy Minister of Labor Affairs Lin San-quei.

The virtual meeting, attended by Indonesian officials and representatives from Taiwan's labor ministry, was held in light of a policy introduced by the Indonesian government that exempts its migrant workers from the costs they currently incur to work abroad.

The policy is expected to take effect in January.

During the meeting, according to Lin, the Taiwanese participants first sought to clarify which countries and categories of migrant workers are applicable to the new Indonesian policy, while their Indonesian counterparts stated that the policy applies only to domestic workers, especially newly hired ones.

The new measure, according to the Indonesian participants, is applicable to all countries that recruit Indonesian laborers, including Taiwan.

As for the total of 11 types of fees that Taiwanese employers would be required to pay for Indonesian workers before they depart for Taiwan, the meeting touched only upon a number of them, including round-trip plane tickets and visa-processing costs, according to Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠), a section chief at the Ministry of Labor Affairs (MOL) Workforce Development Agency, who also took part in the meeting.

Regarding the fees arising from the transportation from a migrant worker's residence to the airport, Hsueh said it was raised by the Taiwanese side that the amount of such fees differ from one migrant worker to another, as their places of residence vary.

In response, the Indonesian officials said they will provide more detailed information pertaining to the fee at a later date.

In addition to the disputed fees, the Indonesian officials also said that Taiwan is the only Indonesian labor-importing country that requires a document that shows an applicant's criminal record, if any, Hsueh said.



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