Taiwan steps up employer inspections for Labour Standards Act compliance

On 16 June this year, the government introduced various amendments to the law with the aim of promoting a better work/life balance for employees, but compliance has been haphazard.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Labour is ramping up the volume of its onsite inspections due to the high number of companies failing to comply with recent changes to the Labour Standards Act.

On 16 June this year, the government introduced various amendments to the law with the aim of promoting a better work/life balance for employees. These amendments also included new implementation rules for employers, which comprise:

– Keeping time and attendance records for five years in the form of paper, punch cards, badge records, electronic forms or any other method that records time in and out in date format;
– Agreeing with employees when their annual leave entitlement should begin – on the anniversary of their start date, at the start of the calendar or fiscal year, or some other mutually agreeable time;
– Notifying workers of their annual leave entitlement within 30 days of qualifying for it;
– Paying out any untaken leave within 30 days of the year-end. This payment is based on workers’ daily wages, which are calculated as a monthly wage divided into 30 days.

Many compliance problems have come about due to confusion over the fact that outstanding leave must be paid to employees and cannot be carried forward to the following year.

Other employers have been uncertain how to handle the requirement for ‘one regular day off and one rest day’ as they need to decide which will be their employees’ regular day off and which their rest day. A rest day must follow six consecutive working days, but this situation has proved tricky in some industries, leading to demands for more flexibility.

Fines for failing to comply with the Act range from NT$20,000 (US$666) to NT$1 million (US$33,290) and the government has also said it will publish the company name, responsible person’s name and type of breach on the Bureau of Labour Affairs’ website.

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