New Taipei City launches Web site on migrant worker brokers and agencies

The New Taipei City Government on Tuesday launched a Web site that allows employers of migrant workers to check information about brokers and recruitment agencies in the city, helping them filter out agencies that have a history of malpractice.

On the Web site (http://ilabor.ntpc.gov.tw/cloud/Agency), employers can search for brokers and recruitment agencies that have government ratings and check the nationalities and job specialization of workers.

The Web site also provides information on whether the agencies have been penalized for any violations over the past two years, said Chen Kuan-ting, an official at the Foreign Workers Service Division of the New Taipei City Labor Affairs Department.

“The Web site provides information on about 255 brokers and recruitment agencies registered in New Taipei City, including dozens that have violated regulations or have had their businesses suspended over the past two years,” Chen said.

“Employers can get information about a specific agency before deciding whether to use it for employment,” he added.

The division launched the Web site after receiving a number of complaints from employers about substandard service by recruitment agencies, Chen said.

The information is to be updated every month, he said.

There are more than 1,000 migrant worker recruitment agencies and brokers nationwide, but some have long been criticized as offering poor services and have a history of accumulating labor violations, he added.

Some agencies simply change their names and start up again after being closed down by the government, Chen said.

In 2008, the central government introduced direct hiring services that help local employers bypass brokers of foreign labor and cut out the monthly fees that migrant workers usually pay to brokers.

However, labor rights groups have said the cumbersome process of direct hiring, which requires employers to fill out a significant amount of paperwork, has scared away many employers, who continue to depend on brokers and agencies to hire migrant workers.

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