Min­istry de­nies NT$19,500 wage for in­dus­try con­scripts


The Min­istry of the In­te­rior's ( MOI) Na­tional Con­scrip­tion Agency ( NCA, ) yes­ter­day de­nied that the “in­dus­try re­serves al­ter­na­tive ser­vice” (

) only gave a monthly wage of NT$19,500 to con­scripts who were tied to serve three years in the pro­gram.

The newly amended En­force­ment Statute for Sub­sti­tute Ser­vices ( ) , which in­cluded the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gram, has faced con­tro­versy since its re­lease last month over the al­leged monthly wage of NT19,500 for grad­u­ates with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, who were not cov­ered by the La­bor Stan­dards Act ( ).

The NCA clar­i­fied that dur­ing the sec­ond year of the pro­gram, con­scripts’ wages fall in line with the mar­ket rate, and de­nied bind­ing them to a three- year con­tract of only NT$19,500 per month.

Of­fi­cials said that while the con­scripts un­der the pro­gram are not cov­ered by the La­bor Stan­dards Act in the first year, con­scripts are pro­vided with bet­ter in­sur­ance packages than nor­mal work­ers.

The in­dus­try re­serves al­ter­na­tive ser­vice is an­other op­tional route, apart from sub­sti­tute ser­vice con­scripts and re­search and devel­op­ment al­ter­na­tive ser­vice ( ), the NCA said, and re­it­er­ated that con­scripts will have to ne­go­ti­ate their wages at the fi­nal stage of the pro­gram with the draftee and em­ployer prior to en­ter­ing the pro­gram.

The NCA of­fi­cial stated that al­ter­na­tive ser­vice draftees will not con­sider the in­dus­try re­serves al­ter­na­tive ser­vice pro­gram if they are dis­sat­is­fied with the wages.

The ser­vice is per­formed in three stages: the first stage re­quires 28 days of ba­sic train­ing, in which draftees share the same priv­i­leges as mil­i­tary pri­vates. The sec­ond stage, which lasts a year, in­cludes the draftees serv­ing in pri­vate com­pa­nies.

Dur­ing the 11 months in the sec­ond stage of the con­script’s ser­vice, t he com­pany will need to pay the gov­ern­ment NT$28,000 to em­ploy a con­script who has a bach­e­lor’s de­gree. The con­script will then be paid a monthly wage of NT$19,500, while the gov­ern­ment will use the re­main­ing NT8,500 to pay for his food, cloth­ing ex­penses, in­sur­ance and tu­ition fees at Cheng Gong Ling ( ).

The new ser­vice pro­gram is sched­uled for im­ple­men­ta­tion in the sec­ond half of 2016, start­ing off with 1,000 va­can­cies avail­able for con­stricts.

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