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Employers may face NT$300,000 penalty for giving unsafe dormitory to migrant workers


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Employers of migrant workers could face a maximum fine of NT$300,000 if they are found to have failed to ensure that labor brokers provide safe and clean dormitories for migrant workers they have hired, a Ministry of Labor (MOL) official said Tuesday.

In addition to the fine, employers could also be banned from hiring migrant workers for two years, said Paul Su, deputy director of the MOL's Cross-Border Workforce Management Division.

Su made the comments while explaining the MOL's proposed draft amendment to the Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers that will hold employers of migrant workers responsible for providing proper accommodation for their foreign employees.

The MOL amendment has been proposed amid controversy over an overcrowded dormitory in which two migrant workers stayed and later tested positive for COVID-19.

The current law stipulates that it is the brokers commissioned by the employers of migrant workers who are responsible for accommodation arrangements, not the employers.

Once the amendment takes effect, both employers and brokers will have to share responsibility for the issue, according to Su.

However, Su said, employers will only be punished if they are found to have "intentionally asked brokers to provide poor accommodation for migrant workers, or have failed to properly supervise brokers in arranging migrant workers' dormitories." Meanwhile, the same draft amendment will also give the authorities the power to punish employers or brokers on the spot following inspections if they are found to be providing substandard accommodation for their migrant workers, Su said.

Currently, local authorities will not issue fines unless the employers or brokers fail to make improvements to such situations within a certain time period. The draft amendment is expected to take effect Jan. 1 at the earliest. -Central News Agency


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