Two foreign domestic workers in Taiwan agreed to continue caring for two children who suffer from cerebral palsy after their parents abandoned them – even though the maids’ actions could have resulted in their own deportation later.
According to an exclusive report by the Taiwan version of Next magazine, the two women had been hired by a Taiwanese mother surnamed So as professional nursing caregivers to look after the two boys, who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy a few years ago.
However, So apparently got into financial trouble and fled loan sharks in June. Her husband promised to continue employing the two caregivers, and asked their employment agency to prepare new contracts for them.
Meanwhile, the man moved to a new home with his two sons and the two caregivers without notifying the agency. Three days later when the agency managed to get in touch with the maids, it learned that the man had run away as well, leaving his two sick sons and NT$20,000 (US$660).
The case of child abandonment was immediately reported to the Department of Social Welfare, which asked the maids to continue taking care of the two boys, as a suitable nursing home was not available for them. Both women agreed to stay on as they did not want the children to suffer, Next Magazine reported.
The two women are professional caregivers claiming monthly salaries of NT$20,000 and NT$25,000 a month respectively, but they had not received any payment since May. Their own families depend on their remittances and have been pressing them hard, the magazine reported.
The department has only been paying them the minimum wages of a foreign domestic worker and has failed to state when their assistance will no longer be required, which puts them at risk of deportation if they are unable to secure employment contracts to renew their work visas within two months.
The two caregivers sought help from the Taoyuan City Employment Service Institute Association, which slammed the Social Welfare Department’s unfamiliarity with Taiwan labor law and said the payment for the maids was unacceptably low.
Several authorities told the Next Magazine that the New Taipei City Government Labor Affairs Bureau had taken over the case and would pursue the women’s unpaid salaries and sort out their employment matters.