In order to motivate dependent families to grant leave to their migrant caregivers, the Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor announced on November 26 that relaxed regulations for respite care services will go into effect on December 1.

At present Taiwanese families are eligible to file an application for respite services only after their migrant caregivers have been on leave for 30 consecutive days, the United Daily News reported.

This was deemed to be unhelpful as households with highly dependent family members struggled to cope when their caregivers were absent on leave. This led to many foreign caregivers being forced to work continuously without vacations.

Under the newly amended regulations, any Taiwanese nationals who have hired migrant caregivers to take care of family members with a severe disability, or those needy individuals who are living alone or whose primary caregiver is over 70 years old, will be eligible for respite care assistance even if their workers take leave for one day.

Moreover, low income households will be given fully-funded respite care services, while middle-to-low income and average income households could receive financial assistance worth 95% or 84% of the costs incurred, respectively.

It is estimated that the new policy will benefit more than 28,000 households.

Families or migrant caregivers who would like to arrange for respite services or to receive further information should call the “1966” long-term care service hotline.

As of August, 2018, the number of foreign caregivers in Taiwan reached 253,679, with the majority of them coming from Indonesia (193,187), and others from the Philippines (31,600) and Vietnam (28,392), according to statistics from the National Immigration Agency.