Taiwan's Ministry of Labor. Photo: Google Maps

Filipino domestic workers in Taiwan held a protest on Sunday urging the Ministry of Labor to mandate one day off per week for household service workers and demanding that they should be protected under the Labor Standards Act.

Gilda Banugan, chairwoman of a Filipino migrant workers’ group called Migrante Taiwan, urged the ministry to mandate one day off a week, as many employers fail to provide maids with adequate rest days, GMA News reported.

“The brokers and employers have a lot of violations of the law but have not been sanctioned and punished by the authorities,” Banugan said.

Many migrant groups and domestic workers joined the protest called Campaign for DAY OFF-National Domestic Worker’s Day, which was hosted by the Taoyuan-based Domestic Caretakers Union, The NewsLens reported.

A Filipino domestic worker said her contract stipulated that she is entitled to one rest day per seven-day period. Other workers also complained that they were overworked and underpaid, and many employers did not allow them to take the days off they are entitled to.

Banugan said in a statement that many domestic workers could not seek medical help as they did not have days off, which resulted in many of them having poor health. Many domestic workers are also overworked, she said.

“There are those who die from tragedies but do not receive benefits from labor insurance because it is not covered in the Labor Standards Act,” she said.

“There are a lot of home-based workers who suffer different kinds of abuses from the hands of their brokers and employers. These abuses range from sexual abuse [and] overwork contract violations to non-granting of days off,” she said.

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