A Taiwanese woman who hired an Indonesian woman as a caregiver for her 80-year-old hospitalized father has been issued with a heavy fine of NT$150,000 (US$4,954) by the Kaohsiung City government as the employee concerned was a runaway migrant worker who lacked a valid work permit.

According to the Udn Daily News, the employer – surnamed Chen – says she hired the woman through an employment agency but did not request additional background checks. Her father was in need of a private carer due to being hospitalized after a fall. She herself is in full-time work.

Chen was then informed by the National Immigration Agency that she had violated the Employment Services Act as the employee concerned was a runaway migrant worker without a valid work permit.

A total of 77 cases of illegal employment of migrant workers were recorded between January and September in Kaohsiung, with fines ranging from NT$150,000 to NT$750,000, according to Kuo Keng-hua, head of Employment Security at the Kaohsiung Labor Affairs Bureau.

Offenders were mostly owners of small family restaurants or citizens with family members in hospital who had hired caregivers in haste.

The Labor Affairs Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government stressed that employers are advised to conduct thorough identity background checks on migrant workers by asking to see valid permits for residence or employment in Taiwan.