Taipei--A lawmaker will propose amending an employment law that allows employers to accuse migrant workers they employ of absconding from their jobs without providing evidence, according to a United Evening News report on Monday.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Yu-chin (???) said she will introduce an amendment to the Employment Service Act to require that employers provide evidence when accusing their foreign employees of running away, according to the report.
According to Article 56 of the Act promulgated in 2013, if a foreign worker has been absent from work without reason for three consecutive days and has not contacted their employer, the employer is to notify local authorities, immigration officials and the police in writing within three days.
Wu said the proposal was a response to recent cases in which foreign workers were reported to have absconded from their jobs when in fact they had simply failed to make contact with their employer, possibly because they were injured at work or were mistreated.
Under the proposed amendment, employers who falsely report that foreign employees have run away could face a fine ranging from NT$60,000 (US$1,954.08) to NT$300,000, Wu told the newspaper.
The Taiwan International Workers' Association supported the proposal, arguing that the existing law gives employers too much power over their foreign employees.
Once migrant workers are listed as a runaway, the group said, their personal freedoms and their right to work and reside in Taiwan are stripped immediately, and they are subject to fines and repatriation.
In contrast, the association said, foreign workers are required to provide evidence to prove they had no intention of running away before their "runaway" status can be rescinded, a process that can take more than six months to complete.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel