The Ministry of Labor Endeavors to Protect the Rights of Domestic Workers through Pragmatic Approaches
- Last updated:2021-10-18
The 2013 International Religious Freedom Report issued by the U.S. Department of State mentioned that the “Labor Standards Act” of the R.O.C. does not provide one day off a week for domestic workers of foreign nationality. The Ministry of Labor indicated that domestic workers are employed by individuals to take care of family members or handle household tasks, their duties, work hours and rest hours are clearly different from workers of business entities, making it hard to draw a clear line between what is work and what is not. Hence, it is indeed hard to apply the “Labor Standards Act” to domestic workers. At present, working conditions, including wage and hours, of domestic workers of foreign nationality are regulated and agreed in a contract between the employer and worker before the worker enters Taiwan.
The Ministry of Labor further indicated that it places heavy emphasis on the working conditions and rights of domestic workers, regardless of whether they are R.O.C. citizens or foreign nationals. After years of proactive deliberation, the Ministry is now finished with the drafting of the “Domestic Workers Protection Act,” which stipulates that domestic workers “shall have at least one day off every seven days,” and also includes provisions on the termination of work contract, wage standards, rest time, special leaves, leaves, insurance, and filing of complaints. The draft is currently being reviewed by the Executive Yuan.
The Ministry of Labor stressed that labor rights of domestic workers should be protected. However, considering the characteristics of domestic work and workers’ need for respite care service, measures must be pragmatic and feasible to balance the rights of both workers and employers. Therefore, before legislation of the drafted act is complete, the Ministry of Labor will continue to communicate with both parties, search for a consensus, and formulate other feasible administrative measures to protect the rights of domestic workers.
- Source:Department of Standards and Equal Employment
- Publication Date:2014-08-01
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