Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taiwan wage hike excludes foreign domestic helpers

Filipinos working as household service workers (HSWs) cannot avail themselves of Taiwan’s recent minimum wage hike for workers, the Department of Labor and Employment said Wednesday.

However, Filipino workers in Taiwan’s industries and institutions stand to benefit from the wage hike, said Labor Attaché Reydeluz Conferido.

"Because household service workers or household-based caregivers/caretakers are still not subject to the Labor Standards Act of Taiwan, this adjustment does not yet apply to them," according to an article posted on the Labor Department website citing Conferido.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration records showed there are 25,000 OFWs, including HSWs, deployed in Taiwan as of September 2010.

Taiwan's Council of Labor Affairs earlier announced a new minimum wage for industrial-, agricultural-, and institution-based workers effective Jan. 1, 2011.

It adjusted the monthly minimum wage for those workers to NT$17,880.00 (P27,200.84) from NT$17,280 (P26,288.06) or an hourly minimum of NT$98 from NT$95.

Conferido said the adjustment will "favorably affect not only the Taiwanese workers, but also most of the migrant workers in Taiwan, including Filipinos."

Conferido said Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Labor Centers in Taiwan have adjusted the minimum wage requirement for employment contracts being verified to conform to the new minimum wage.

MECO informed and requested POEA to implement the necessary adjustments in regulations covering contract registration for OFWs going to Taiwan.

According to POEA, Taiwan is the seventh most preferred destination country of OFWs.

Commission on Filipinos Overseas data meanwhile show there were some 94,000 Filipinos in Taiwan as of December 2009 with some 82,000 holders of employment contracts. 

In July 2010, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council similarly decided against including foreign domestic workers in the region’s first statutory minimum wage. — With Jerrie Abella/VS, GMANews.TV

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