Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Monday announced the end of a program launched earlier this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that enabled employers of migrant workers to apply for short-term contract extensions.
The MOL launched the program in May to allow employers to apply for three-to-six-month contract extensions for migrant workers whose contracts were set to expire, with many countries closing their borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, many migrant workers were unable to return to their home countries.
The measure was also intended to reduce cross-border travel during the pandemic.
The program was extended in July due to high demand.
On Monday, the MOL said it was ending the program, with immediate effect
The decision was made after a review showed such short-term extensions were increasing the burden on both employers and the MOL, according to Hsueh Chien-chung, a section chief at the MOL's Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
The decision will normalize employee-employer relations and streamline administrative procedures, he said.
In addition, many countries are now reopening their borders, making it easier for migrant workers to travel, according to Hsueh.
Since the program was launched in May, 1,989 applications had been made as of Nov. 15. Most of the applicants were made on behalf of migrant workers from the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the WDA.