TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會) launched a new service on Jan. 1, 2022, for pregnant migrant workers, providing them with consultation on laws and rights, mental health support, resettlement assistance, and more.
To counter Taiwan’s aged society, the government opened borders to migrant workers from Southeast Asian countries in 1989. Nowadays, many who come to Taiwan are in their prime, and it is reasonable that some may fall in love and start a family here.
However, migrant women who fall pregnant in Taiwan may face employment problems, and due to their unfamiliarity with Taiwan’s laws, may become victims of unscrupulous employers.
As some may decide to risk running away from employers when they fall pregnant, the Garden of Hope Foundation hopes to provide them with a helping hand by helping them understand their rights and providing shelters if necessary.
As there is no “pregnancy prohibition clause” (禁孕條款) in Taiwan, the “Act of Gender Equality in Employment” (性別工作平等法) is applicable to both migrant workers and domestic workers. This means that employers shouldn’t dismiss migrant workers on the grounds of pregnancy, and workers also have the right to five days of pregnancy checkup leaves, 8 weeks of maternity before and after giving birth, and their spouses should also have five days of paternity leave.
As for the salary that should be given during maternity leave, the “Labor Standards Act” (勞動基準法) is applicable to migrant workers in industrial jobs or institutional long-term care services.
This means that the employer should pay their salaries in full or half their full salary according to individual businesses under Taiwan regulations. However, those working as domestic workers in individual households are not subject to the “Labor Standards Act”, so employers are not obliged to pay maternity leave wages.
In addition, migrant workers can also choose whether they want to be dismissed according to their circumstances. Generally speaking, migrant workers need to change their employers within a certain period of time after their resignation. However, pregnant migrant workers can apply to the MOL for suspension of changing employers with a diagnosis certificate or a maternal health manual to stay in Taiwan to give birth.
After the child is born in Taiwan, though they will not obtain citizenship, they can rely on either one of their parents who are staying in Taiwan under legal circumstances to obtain health insurance and stay in Taiwan.
At present, the Garden of Hope Foundation can provide shelter for around 25 people. In principle, pregnant migrant workers can stay at the center for up to 60 days after giving birth.
Depending on individual circumstances, some can stay up to 6 months after giving birth. The foundation will also provide assistance in the changing of jobs after delivery so migrant workers who may need these services can call 03-2522522 for assistance.