Cabi­net bill to cut work week, ex­tend 2-day week­ends to all

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan on Thurs­day com­pleted a draft amend­ment to the La­bor Stan­dards Act that is aimed at shrink­ing the work week and al­low­ing two-day week­ends for the coun­try’s en­tire work­force.

About 3.4 mil­lion work­ers are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from the change, which may be im­ple­mented at the start of 2016 in an ef­fort to bring Tai­wan’s work­ing stan­dards more in line with in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions, ac­cord­ing to La­bor Min­is­ter Chen Hsi­ung­wen ( ).

The draft amend­ment pro­poses a max­i­mum 40-hour work week, re­vis­ing the reg­u­la­tions that cur­rently al­low up to 84 hours a fort­night.

To min­i­mize the im­pact on em­ploy­ers, how­ever, the draft amend­ment in­creases the max­i­mum num­ber of over­time hours per month from 46 to 54.

Industrial and busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions had ap­pealed to the gov­ern­ment to set a yearly in­stead of a monthly limit on over­time hours, but Chen said the monthly lim­its are de­signed to pre­vent com­pa­nies from over­work­ing their em­ploy­ees by ex­ploit­ing the loop­holes in­her­ent in ad­min­is­ter­ing a whole year’s worth of over­time hours.

Mean­while, on the is­sue of week­ends, Chen said two- day week­ends have been in ef­fect in the public ser­vice since 2001, but are granted to only about 50.1 per­cent of pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ees.

The reg­u­la­tion will be ex­tended to in­clude Tai­wan’s en­tire 8 mil­lion-strong work­force, he said.

In the pri­vate sec­tor, how­ever, the num­ber of na­tional hol­i­days will be re­duced from 19 to 12, more in line with the public sec­tor reg­u­la­tions, a move that will help off­set the ef­fects of the two­day week­end on busi­nesses, Chen said.

He said May 1, La­bor Day, will re­main a hol­i­day in the pri­vate sec­tor, which will give those em­ploy­ees one na­tional hol­i­day more than the 11 spec­i­fied for the public sec­tor.

Some of the pri­vate sec­tor hol­i­days that will be scrapped in­clude the birthdays of found­ing fa­ther Sun Yat-sen (Nov. 12), Chi­ang Kai-shek (Oct. 31) and Con­sti­tu­tion Day (Dec. 25), although those days will still be ob­served, the min­is­ter said.

Chen ex­plained, how­ever, that the num­ber of work­ing hours in the pri­vate sec­tor could po­ten­tially in­crease by 48 hours per year be­cause of two fac­tors.

The first is the re­duc­tion in the num­ber of na­tional hol­i­days, and the sec­ond is the in­crease in the max­i­mum al­low­able num­ber of over­time hours per month, he said.

Mean­while, the amend­ment al­lows for over­time work to be com­pen­sated by means of ad­di­tional pay­ment or ex­tra time off.

In cases of com­pen­satory time off, the em­ployee must ap­ply within 10 work­ing days of ac­cu­mu­lat­ing the over­time hours and must take the time off within six months, ac­cord­ing to the draft bill.

If the em­ployer is un­able to grant the time off, the worker must be paid within six months of ac­cu­mu­lat­ing the over­time hours, the bill states.

Em­ploy­ees who are re­quired to work on na­tional hol­i­days should also re­ceive ex­tra pay­ment or com­pen­satory time off that should be taken within seven days, ac­cord­ing to the draft amend­ment.

It also re­quires em­ploy­ers to keep de­tailed and ac­cu­rate em­ployee work records and store the data for at least 5 years.

Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party law­maker Chao Tien- lin (

) said that he hopes to see the first read­ing of the bill com­pleted by April 30, on the eve of La­bor Day, and that the op­po­si­tion party will strive to make it a law by the end of the cur­rent leg­isla­tive ses­sion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.