Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office. Photo: Google Maps

The number of labor disputes recorded by the Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office increased to 775 during the first six months of this year from 637 in the same period of last year, with migrant workers complaining that their rights and privacies had been abused.

In many cases, domestic workers were forbidden to use their mobile phones, no meals were provided to match cultural and religious needs, and insufficient rest was assigned by their employers, Taiwan Times reported, citing the office.

Such disputes between employers and migrant workers were blamed on a lack of understanding and respect for cultural, religious and language differences.

Meanwhile, wage disputes and complaints regarding employment agencies were also frequently noted. Some agencies were reportedly charging excessive referral fees or were not able to offer assistance or services as agreed.

The office said an estimated NT$2.67 million (US$88,000) worth of statutory benefits should be paid to foreign workers after litigation.

According to statistics, the office has provided 7,244 pieces of legal advice on foreign workers’ rights and regulations so far this year.

At present, there are more than 45,000 foreign workers in Taipei, of whom 73.9% are Indonesians, the office said. A total of 91.88% of the workers are domestic helpers or caregivers in homes or institutions.

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