Questions about Labor Law in Taiwan (FAQs)
Labor law is complex and it is inevitable that you will have questions. We hope to answer some of your questions on this page; if there are additional questions that you would like answered, please contact us so we can answer your questions and add the solution for others to access on this page.
1. What are the advantages of working legally in Taiwan?
Foreign workers who work legally in Taiwan are assured of a proper wage as well as reasonable protection for labor-related rights. Laws in Taiwan are designed to protect legal workers and ensure that they are treated fairly. However, illegal workers are not afforded these protections and must live and work at risk of abuse, arrest, and deportation. A foreign worker, caught by police without proper documentation, will be arrested and fined up to NT $10,000 plus the cost of the flight home; if they cannot pay the requisite fee and ticket home, undocumented workers will be detained until they can; following their deportation, undocumented workers will be banned from Taiwan for a minimum of five years.
Legally authorized workers have protections in the workplace that illegal workers do not have. If, as a legally authorized worker, you have not violated any laws and regulations during your employment period but your employer has to terminate your employment relationship prematurely due to some reasons, you may have grounds to regain some of your lost wages from the broken contract; when you sign a contract with your employer, not only are you agreeing to work faithfully for the designated period of time but the employer is agreeing to provide you work for that time as well. Breach of contract by either side can result in damages and a legal worker can navigate the channels of law (which you can initiate by contacting us) to be assured that you are treated fairly. An illegal worker may have no recourse in cases of abuse or breach of contract.
2.What consequences do you face for running-away from your legal employment?
According to Articles 73 and 74 of the Employment Services Act, a foreign worker who failed to report to his/her legal employer for three consecutive days, or has lost contact, or has been found to work for an illegal employer, will be fined with no less than NT $30,000 but no more than NT $150,000. The foreign worker will also be compelled to leave the country in a set time and shall not be allowed to work in Taiwan again.
3.What should I do if I am a worker who has been reported as missing?
While working in Taiwan, and you feel that your rights and interests have been violated, please make good use of the channels provided by the Workforce Development Agency, Ministry of Labor to seek for assistance. If you opt to run-away and work illegally, you will be vulnerable to exploitation, human injustice and maltreatment by your illegal employer or broker. It’s also difficult to protect your rights for medical benefits and service in the event of an injury or sickness; you will be deprived of a labor health protection, and cannot see a doctor through the normal channel; you will lose your basic human rights and encounter difficulty. If you are considered an undocumented foreign worker, the Hope Workers’ Center recommends that you contact us immediately. You may also call these government resources to surrender:
- The 24-hour toll-free hotline (dial 1-9-5-5)
- Special Task Force of the Regional National Immigration Agency (See attached Annex 9)
- Regional Police Administration
- Overseas Office of Your Respective Originating Country (See attached Annex 3)
- Foreign Workers Consultation Service Centers of each city or municipality
- Foreign Workers Counseling and Assistance Services, located at Taiwan’s international airports (Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport)
4. Can I continue my contract with my employer at the end of a three-year contract?
Four months before your contract ends, ask your employer if he/she will continue to employ you. If so, you don’t need to exit Taiwan at the end of your current 3-year contract. If your employer agrees to rehire you, be sure that he/she applies to the Ministry of Labor for a new contract.
5. How can I transfer to a new employer at the end of my three-year contract?
Four months before your contract’s end, inform your employer that you don’t want to continue your contract and you want to transfer to a new employer. Your employer will process your transfer and register your data to the employment service website. Still, you need to continue your work until you finish your contract or find a new job. If your contract expires and you haven’t found a new employer, you will have to exit Taiwan.
6. How can I find a new employer?
When you are registered in the employment service website, employers or brokers can contact you. Or, you can also ask your friends for vacancies in their places of work and apply personally.
7. While searching for a new job, can I take an employment leave from my current job?
No, if you have an interview during your working days, you will need to file a personal leave.
8. Can I change my work category?
Yes. So long as you have been offered a job by an employer in the category of work that you intend to pursue, then you can change your work category. What this means is that even if you’re a caretaker according to your previous contract, you can transfer to a factory as long as you have been offered a job by an employer (or from factory worker to fisherman, etc.).
9. If I will continue my contract with my employer, how much does my placement fee cost?
There is not yet a law controlling how much the employer can charge when you continue your contract with your employer.
10. If I continue my contract with my employer after a first contract is expired, what is the maximum amount that my broker can charge for a broker’s fee?
The broker cannot legally charge you more than NT$1,500 per month for a broker’s fee.
11. Do I need to pay a placement fee if I went back to my home country for vacation, then returned to Taiwan?
If you renewed and signed your contract in Taiwan before you left Taiwan for vacation, then you should not have to pay a placement fee when you return. However, if you did not renew and sign your contract in Taiwan before leaving for vacation, you may have to pay your placement fee again.
12. I have only two months left before my contract ends and my employer and broker are not processing my transfer. What can I do?
Call the government hotline for Overseas Foreign Workers by dialing 1-9-5-5 so that you can file a complaint. Your employer and broker may be penalized up to NT$300,000 for illegally harming your chances of transferring. Contact the Hope Workers’ Center if you have any questions.
13. What should I do if my broker is asking for payment in processing my contract or transfer?
You should gather evidence of what the broker is requesting and file a complaint. According to the law, brokers can charge a maximum monthly service fee of NT$1,500 and no more. We recommend that you call the Hope Workers’ Center and we can help you in filing an official complaint.
14. My employer agreed to process my transfer, but what he/she processed is the continuation of my contract. What should I do?
Before processing your contract, you need to sign an agreement. If you have not signed an agreement, then you cannot be transferred. Before you sign any documents, read and make sure you fully understand its content.
If you have any additional questions not asked here, or if you need support, please contact the Hope Workers’ Center.