Work permit screw-up with no pay

My employer invited me to Taiwan in January, but they hadn’t organised the work permit properly so I had to go on three visa runs out of Taiwan so that the right documentation was done, enough for the ARC (which I now have). On the second Visa run I had to stay in Bali for three weeks while they sorted everything out (part of the delay was Chinese New Year), I came back and almost everything was sorted, so good. However, my employer did not pay me for the three weeks I was not at work, even though the reason I was not at work was their fault. I have questioned this many times but I keep being told: “No work, no pay”.
What does the law say?

There is no law. You’d have to essentially sue the employer, either for negligence or breach of contract.

But then you’d be pissing off the employer and he’ll make your life a nightmare.

Hopefully you didn’t work without a work permit.

Your options are: Head to the labour affairs office in the city or county hall in which you reside and ask if they have any opinions.

For legal advice:


Were you working without a work permit?

No. I couldn’t start working because of their delay. 8 was told that the work permit would be available mid January, but it actually came late February.

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Thank you. I’m not bothered about pissing off the employer but I’m not going to sue because it’s easier to just find another job. I now don’t trust them to not find another excuse not to pay me!
Thank you for the information about the labour affairs office.

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Yeah nah they actually can’t pay you. This kind of incompetence is very common especially in companies with no experience hiring big noses.

I mean they should compensate you for the visa run tickets but this never happens. It was a revolution even when they agreed to pay the ARC application fee in many companies here.


They aren’t allowed to pay you for any work you did (or didn’t do) prior to obtaining a work permit. You were a tourist with no right to work.

Your employment with them technically began after you returned from Bali. They don’t owe you anything other than an apology for flying you out earlier than they could employ you.

They also don’t need to reimburse your flights for your visa runs because they were not pre-approved expenses. You should have negotiated a reimbursement BEFORE booking them (and any good employer would have approved them, to compensate for their mistakes). If they said no, then you would have known early on that this was not a good employer to work for.


Funny that nobody worries about upsetting the employee. A pissed-off employee could equally make life a nightmare for the employer.

Maybe it’s because employees don’t rip your arm out of your socket when they get upset.

What? Where did this come from?

Absolutely, and I do. But I also want to look out for the person who is new to the country first.


I do. Figuratively.


I mean, if you are going to find another job, you can still seek legal advice to see if it’s a negligence issue.

I suggest a new strategy, R2. Let the Wookiee win.


Thank you but it’s OK. I have now lined up some new work for next year. My current employer made me sign a one year contract on 5 Jan, when I arrived, and now they have realized that I could leave in 9 months. I am not going to cause trouble for them, I’m going to do my job, and then leave.

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Wishing you all the best!

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This is the way

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Star Wars.