ECCT Annual Report Calls for Taiwanese Companies to Relax Restrictions on Working Hours

ECCT Annual Report Calls for Taiwanese Companies to Relax Restrictions on Working Hours
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Taiwan obviously lags behind in the Asia-Pacific region in attracting foreign talent and is facing a serious challenge in ensuring labor supply and retaining technical talents, not to mention the difficulties in maintaining short-term and mid-term economic growth and competitiveness. The report notes that despite regulations concerning the employment of expats have been loosened in recent years, some unreasonable restrictions still exist.

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European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) issued its annual policy recommendation report on November 3 covering aspects of Taiwan’s economy, population, education, health insurance and so on. Chairman Bernd Barkey says the association hopes to help upgrade Taiwan’s economic development as well as the living qualities.

Storm Media reports, the policy recommendations report that aims for 2016 focuses on the topic, “bold actions against the age of uncertainties." It clearly points out Taiwan’s current issues regarding economic instability, the change of demographics, energy security, the health care system’s sustainability, personnel training and brain drain, fundamental infrastructures and tourism development.

Storm Media reports, the report refers to statistics issued by the World Economic Forum, indicating that Taiwan has been ranked lower than Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand for two consecutive years regarding places that attract most talents.

Taiwan obviously lags behind in the Asia-Pacific region in attracting foreign talent and is facing a serious challenge in ensuring labor supply and retaining technical talents, not to mention the difficulties in maintaining short-term and mid-term economic growth and competitiveness.

The report notes that despite regulations concerning the employment of expats have been loosened in recent years, some unreasonable restrictions still exist. The report believes that the Taiwan government should propose to issue a three-month business visa instead of requiring all foreign professionals to apply for official work permits. This would save time and energy for the enterprises and foreign professionals.

The report also provides concrete suggestions that the authorities should allow expats to join the national pension system, and those who have permanent residential status should only need to return to Taiwan once every five years to retain their qualifications.

UDN reports, ECCT also points out that Taiwan’s economy should be more internationalized. The current carbon emissions of the vehicles and component examinations, financial services, cosmetics, customs and logistics procedures in Taiwan have either not adopted the international standards or have failed to be in comply with international standards.

UDN reports, ECCT also points out that Taiwan’s economy should be more internationalized. The current carbon emissions of the vehicles and component examinations, financial services, cosmetics, customs and logistics procedures in Taiwan have either not adopted the international standards or have failed to be in comply with international standards.

Taiwan should therefore recognize the internationally accepted inspection reports and avoid re-examinations and other technical barriers regarding trade and business.

The report also mentions that Taiwan should raise the salary of medical staff and reduce their workload. Authorities should take an innovative approach to balance the amount of patients between hospitals and community clinics. The most important thing is to establish a reasonable medicine pricing system, improve the medicine review process and healthcare payment procedures to create a better medical environment.

Liberty Times reports, on cultivating talent, ECCT provides suggestions based on education. With the declining birth rate, the number of students enrolled in universities is going down as well. The government should adjust its educational funding and close some schools at all levels. Barkey believes that it’s a wiser approach to use the budget saved from educational funding in other expenditures, such as basic scientific research and social welfare.

Furthermore, ECCT believes that private enterprises also hold responsibilities and Barkey says that owners must create a more flexible working environment. Most of the private enterprises still use an outdated mentality, treating their staff members as assembly line workers and strictly monitoring their working hours.

However, using the amount of working hours to evaluate an employee’s productivity can no longer reflect reality. ECCT says that creative independent workers, young parents, part-time staff and elderly employees all require different working conditions. They recommend the company owners to adjust the employees’ job duties and relax the restrictions on working hours.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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