Taiwan’s government is considering raising the monthly minimum wage for domestic helpers and in-home caregivers from Indonesia to NT$18,000 (US$589) from NT$17,000 ($552), despite public expectations of an increase of between NT$2,000 and NT$3,000.

A memorandum of understanding about recruitment, placement and the protection of Indonesian migrant workers was signed by the Indonesian government and the island government on December 14, the Taiwan Times reported.

Lin San-Quei, the vice-minister at the Ministry of Labor, admitted Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri had insisted on an increase in the minimum wage for Indonesian domestic helpers and in-home caregivers in Taiwan as they were excluded by Taiwan’s Labor Standards Act and earned less than factory workers or institutional caregivers.

The increase was expected to start from March 2019 and was considered as a friendly gesture for Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s bid for re-election in April.

It was also rumored that migrants from the Philippines and Vietnam would also enjoy a minimum pay rise of NT$1,000 (US$32.7).

Starting from January 1, 2019, the minimum wage for all workers in Taiwan would be set at NT23,100 (US$756), while the salaries of migrants serving as domestic workers or in-home caregivers had not been reviewed for the past four years. The gap was getting wider amid wage stagnation.

Meanwhile, the ministry was also reviewing the present employment surety waiving mechanism for low-income working families when they hire a domestic or in-home caregiver. An extension of the coverage of the scheme would be expected, Lin added.

Read: Indonesian domestic workers hoping for pay rise to NT$19,000