Government Takes Active Actions on Demands from Labor Organizations

  • Last Modify Date:2017-03-30

On Labor Day, May 1, labor organizations staged a street demonstration to voice their demands over several issues, including “reduce statutory working hours and implement five-day work week,” “enterprise profit sharing and increase basic wage,” “stop dispatch of labors and oppose exploitation from the middleman,” “oppose improper financial merging to protect the asset of the people,” “review policies on foreign labors and provide guidance for industrial transformation,” “aids to youth unemployment and comprehensive cooperation between industries and schools,” and “allocating annual budget for labor insurance pension.” In response to the labor organizations’ concerns, MOL stated that the government values the opinion of the people and will take active actions on these six demands. With respect to the demands on “reducing statutory working hours and implementing five-day work week,” MOL has devoted last year on revising legislations and related measures to reduce the statutory working hours. Last December, the final draft to the Labor Standards Act amendment on working hours was completed for review at the Executive Yuan. Last week, on April 23, the Executive Yuan approved this amendment that would reduce working hours to 40-hour week. The amendment is now at the Legislative Yuan for review. Though the demands in this regard are incorporated in the amendment of the Labor Standards Act, MOL will maintain dialogues with the Legislative Yuan and related organizations to see that the legislation is passed. Furthermore, to strengthen the prevention of overwork, in addition to stipulating overwork prevention statutory in the Occupational Safety and Health Act, MOL will review the applicability to Article 84-1 of the Labor Standards Act, regulate and publish constituents leading to overwork and their examination guidelines, as well as guidelines for regulating the working hours of people working outside the supervisory workplace, expanding and strengthening the inspection of labor conditions and other preventive measures to implement and protect the physical and mental wellbeing of workers. With respect to the demands on “enterprise profit sharing and increase basic wages,” the MOL urges and encourages labor and management to incorporate wage adjustments in their collective agreement in order for both sides to share the fruits of economic growth. To implement the profit sharing mechanism, the Legislative Yuan is in the process of reviewing the Three Wage Increase Laws (SME Development Statute, Labor Standards Act, and Factory Act). As with respect to increasing the basic wage, since such adjustment has to be drafted by the Basic Wage Deliberation Committee first before MOL can submit it to the Executive Yuan for approval, discussion on basic wage increase shall be conducted when the Basic Wage Deliberation Committee convenes according to regulations in Fall. With respect to the demands on “stopping dispatch of labors and opposing exploitation from the middleman,” MOL has completed drafting the Dispatch Workers Protection Act to ensure protection to the working rights of dispatch workers, as well as to foster businesses to value human resources and to carry out their social responsibilities in safeguarding the working rights of their employees. The drafted Act is currently under review at the Executive Yuan. The main purpose of the Act is to stipulate when enterprises employ dispatch workers, they cannot lower personnel costs or dodge from their responsibilities as employers, and to make dispatch companies jointly reliable for violations to ensure the rights of dispatch workers are further protected. There are existing stipulations in place, however, to maintain the rights of dispatch workers before this drafted Act is legislated. These stipulations include “Guidelines for the Executive Yuan to Employ Dispatch Work,” “Instructions on the Rights to Dispatch Work,” “Sample Contract for Agency Requiring Dispatch Workers and Dispatch Business Entity,” “Terms and Conditions that Should and Should Not Be Included in a Dispatch Contract,” and amending the “Sample Contract for Labor Procurement.” With respect to the demands on “opposing improper financial merging to protect the asset of the people,” MOL stated that to minimize the sense of uncertainty that bank employees have over a merger or privatization, employers should negotiate and communicate fully with the employees at the time of merging on worker benefits such as work placement and working conditions. Employers should also negotiate with the workers and their respective unions under the principle of trust, so that worker rights are not sacrificed for the merger. The MOL will provide needed assistance when necessary. With respect to the demands on “reviewing policies on foreign labors and providing guidance for industrial transformation,” it is to be noted that foreign labor policies in Taiwan are carried out under the premise of protecting the employment rights of Taiwanese nationals, and that foreign labors are allowed in principle as supplement labor. To protect the employment rights of Taiwanese workers, and to properly response to the overall employment market trend and the supply and demand of the workforce, MOL will take cautions in reviewing policies on introducing transnational workforce, so as to effectively employ such workforce in assisting industrial transformation and upgrade for the continuous facilitation of employment for Taiwanese nationals. With respect to the demands on “aids to youth unemployment and comprehensive cooperation between industries and schools,” MOL has coordinated with 11 agencies under its own ministry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Education to promote the Youth Employment Program. The aim of this program is to foster youth employment, and MOL expects some 150,000 youths to benefit from it. Also, to enhance assistance to youths seeking employment, appropriate assistance measures are provided to youths while they are still in school and after graduation. For examples, career counseling and workplace training are provided to youths still in school; for those who have graduated, a three-year training subsidy up to NT70,000 , hiring incentives, and other forms of aids are provided to youths seeking employment beyond their fields. With respect to “instilling proper labor values,” MOL will continue to compile various teaching materials on labor rights and to promote labor education in schools and workplaces to help Taiwan nationals establish proper labor values. With respect to the last demand on “allocating annual budget for labor insurance pension,” to ensure the sustainability of the labor insurance pension system, the Executive Yuan has stipulated in the Labor Insurance Annuity Act draft amendments that the government will be responsible for final liability of payment and to allocate annual budget into the pension fund. These amendments are now at the Legislative Yuan for further reviews. With respect to suggestions on reducing the income replacement ratio and extending the calculation onaverage insured wage without amending related legislations, MOL stated that since such changes involve the balance of rights and obligations between different generations and the insured, MOL will review the opinions from all parties when the amendments are reviewed at the Legislative Yuan.

  • News From:Department of General Planning
  • Publish Date:2015-05-01
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