What you need to know
With the amendment of the Labor Standards Act being carried out in 2016, weekly working hours will be reduced to 40 hours and the Ministry of Labor has decided to unify leave benefits. It will promote five-day weeks and cut the number of national holidays from 19 to 12 days.
Five-day weeks for civil servants has been implemented for over ten years, and while many companies carry out the regulation accordingly, there are still around 2,200,000 workers that don’t get days off according to the law.
With the amendment of the Labor Standards Act being carried out in 2016, weekly working hours will be reduced to 40 hours and the Ministry of Labor has decided to unify leave benefits. It will promote five-day weeks and cut the number of national holidays from 19 to 12 days. The total number of days off in a year will be around 116 days.
China Times reports, Taiwan has enforced five-day weeks since 2001, but the Labor Standards Act wasn’t amended correspondingly and leave benefits have been confusing for the past ten years.
At the moment, around 4.38 million workers have five-day weeks and only 11 or 12 national holidays. There are still around 2.2 million workers that work more than five days a week and take 19 days off as national holidays, such as Teachers’ Day and Youth Day, holidays civil servants only celebrate but don’t get time off from. In addition, four hundred thousand part-time workers can collect twice the amount of pay if they work during these 19 days.
Apple Daily reports that the Ministry of Labor plans to unify all national holidays starting from 2016. This means after implementing 40 weekly working hours, workers will have the same amount of national holidays as civil servants. But considering the significance of Labor Day, workers will still get a day off and the amount of national holidays will be 12 days annually.
This change will have little effect on those who already work five days a week. For people who don’t have five-day weeks, the amount of days they get off will increase and national holidays will be cut down, but they still benefit on the whole. The amendment is most unfavorable to part-time workers who will only be left 12 days to collect double salary instead of 19 days.
UDN reports, the seven national holidays that will be cut back are, the day after the Founding of the Republic of China (January 2), Youth Day (March 29), Teachers’ Day (September 28), Taiwan Independence Day (October 25), Birthday of President Chiang Kai-shek (October 31), Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Birthday (November 12), and Constitution Day (December 25).
As for child labor, the Labor Standards Act states those over 15 years old and under 16 are child laborers and their wages can’t be less than 70 percent of the standard salary. In the future, the salary and leave benefits of child laborers will be the same as the average worker, which means their hourly pay can’t be less than NT$ 120 (approximately US$ 3.7) and their monthly salary can’t be less than NT$ 20,008 (approximately US$ 620).
The ministry says that there are around 1,000 child laborers in Taiwan and most of them start working after graduating from junior high.
Translated by Olivia Yang