Priority Given to Outbreak Prevention – Adjustments Made to the Health Examination and Departure Verification of Foreign Migrant Workers in Taipei City

Foreign migrant workers who have worked for 6 months, 18 months and 30 months are required to receive regular health examinations, but with the COVID-19 outbreak showing no signs of improvement, to prevent the risk of infection among migrant workers visiting hospitals, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has agreed to postpone the original health examination timetable by 3 months, so the migrant workers can receive their regular health examination after the outbreak has abated.

Also, Taipei City will change the migrant worker departure verification procedure to telephone verification so that people do not have to venture out to complete the verification process.

According to the Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office (FDLO), the Regulations Governing Management of the Health Examination of Employed Aliens stipulates that migrant workers should undergo health examination within 3 working days after entry (3-day health examination) and within 30 days before or after 6, 18 and 30 months of work (regular health examination) after entry at a designated hospital. Since hospitals are considered high-risk places and these facilities are fully engaged in outbreak prevention efforts, the CECC has decided to postpone the regular health examination timetable to avoid hampering outbreak prevention efforts.

With regard to the 3-day health examination, since other factors such as health monitoring or infectious disease control are involved, the employers should therefore also adhere to the original schedule. FDLO reminds employers to confirm the date of their migrant workers’ health examination and the type of health examination to be carried out so as to ensure that health examinations are carried out according to the CECC’s instructions.

Previously, employers often neglected to take their migrant workers to receive regular health examinations because they were too busy looking after their family or working. According to the regulations of the Employment Service Act, employers will be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000. If the employers fail to do so after receiving a notification from the local health authorities, part or all of their recruitment and hiring permit will be revoked. The employers are reminded that for the purposes of outbreak prevention, regular health examinations may be postponed for up to 3 months. If you are unsure of the regular health examination date of your migrant worker, please refer to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control’s website to estimate the health examination date (https://reurl.cc/z889YN).

Furthermore, if the employment contract between the employer and migrant worker is still valid but the migrant worker decides to return to his/her country, the migrant worker departure verification should be conducted to ascertain the migrant worker’s intentions and protect their rights. Instead of the old approach of online reservation combined with visiting the service counter in person, to minimize gathering and enhance the public’s convenience during the outbreak, Taipei City began a telephone verification service on March 18, 2020, where bilingual staff communicate with the migrant workers on a one on one basis to determine if they agree to leave the country, and their decisions are documented to complete the verification process.

If the migrant worker cannot be contacted, the employer should approach the service counter in person with the migrant worker (or ask the placement agency to do so). Although priority is still given to telephone interviews, the migrant workers’ rights are guaranteed by staff fluent in Indonesian, Filipino, Vietnamese, or Thai to ensure faultless communication. Taipei City processes approximately 2,000 departure verification cases, and the revised approach will be adjusted readily in response to the outbreak’s changing conditions.

For more up-to-date migrant worker and outbreak-related information, please refer to FDLO’s official website or the Hand in Hand in Taipei Facebook fan page.

  • Source:Department of Information Technology, Taipei City Government

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