Indonesian Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri is expected to meet Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) today to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the rights of migrant workers.
The MOU covers the recruitment, placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers.
The signing is to be followed by a closed-door meeting to discuss issues concerning migrant workers from Indonesia, including increasing the wages of domestic helpers and in-home caregivers, allowing workers to freely switch employers and allowing wages to be paid using banks.
Local media have speculated that the Indonesian government wants Taiwan to raise the monthly minimum wage for domestic helpers and in-home caregivers from NT$17,000 to NT$19,000.
Wages for foreign domestic helpers and in-home caregivers — which are different from those of factory workers or institutional caregivers — are lower than the minimum wage stipulated by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).
Taiwan has proposed that Indonesian migrant workers be allowed to take the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language before working in Taiwan, and that Indonesian fishers receive labor and health insurance as a way to prevent fraudulent job applications by labor brokers.
The Ministry of Labor said the MOU is a renewed version of a 2011 MOU between Taiwan and Indonesia that agreed to the direct recruitment of Indonesian migrant workers and the prevention of human trafficking.
The two sides in 2015 agreed to raise the minimum wage for Indonesian domestic helpers and in-home caregivers to NT$17,000 from NT$15,840, a figure that had remained unchanged for 18 years, the ministry added.
According to ministry statistics, about 190,000 Indonesians work as caregivers or domestic helpers in Taiwan, and make up 76 percent of all migrant workers in those categories.