Taipei, Rules governing the number of foreign workers allowed to be hired by local companies that shift their operations back to Taiwan from China are to be relaxed, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Wednesday.
To take advantage of the loosening of the rules, companies that relocate back to Taiwan from China will need to show that they have been affected by the trade dispute between the United States and China, have invested in China for over two years, and have incorporated smart technology into their production lines, the MOL said.
In addition, the companies will also need to meet the condition of belonging to the "five plus two" innovative industries plan, be in a key component industry that manufacture high value-added products or have their own brands with international marketing.
The MOL's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) announced that it plans to relax the restrictions through a draft bill to amend the Reviewing Standards and Employment Qualifications for Foreigners Engaging in the Jobs Specified in Items 8-11, Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of the Employment Service Act.
The amended laws will have a sunset clause of three years, the WDA added.
Hsueh Chien-chung director of the MOL's Cross-Border Workforce Management Division, said that as long as Taiwanese companies that relocate back from China fit the necessary requirements, they can pay an additional employment security fee of NT$7,000 (US$227.50) to be granted permission to increase the number of foreign workers they employ by 10 percent.
Hsueh gave the example of an electronics company returning from China that met the necessary requirements and paid the additional employment security fee to be granted permission to employ foreign workers up to 35 percent of the total payroll, up 10 percent from a 25 percent cap the company previously had to abide by.
However, the MOL will still need companies returning from China to recruit domestically before they can hire foreign workers, with checks to be conducted on the ratio of domestic to foreign workers after a year, Hsueh said.
The announcement of the amendment is to be made public for about 15 days to collect public opinion, with related laws to be implemented in the second half of March at the earliest, Hsueh said.
Earlier this month, President Tsai Ing-wen encouraged Taiwanese businesses operating in China to move their manufacturing bases back to Taiwan, to allow them to better adapt to the volatile global economic environment and avoid the negative impact of the trade conflict between China and the U.S.
The government introduced an action plan to encourage the return of Taiwanese companies based in China, Tsai said, adding that the plan was formulated to meet the needs of such enterprises by providing them with customized services and tax incentives, with the government introducing an integrated policy on the supply of land, electricity, water and human resources.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel