Wed, Jul 09, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Startups may see labor rules ease

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

The National Development Council (NDC) may relax regulations to allow business startups to recruit foreign employees, but with the Ministry of Labor setting the minimum wages.

The plan, part of the council’s “HeadStart Taiwan” project to promote local startups, is to be submitted to the Cabinet for review and could take effect by the end of next month, Jan Fang-guan (詹方冠), a section head at the council, said on Monday.

Currently, Taiwanese businesses planning to hire foreign workers must have either an annual revenue in excess of NT$10 million (US$333,778), generate commissions of more than US$400,000 a year, or register import and export value of more than US$1 million a year, in accordance with the Employment Service Act (就業服務法).

A company founded less than a year also needs to have capital of more than NT$5 million to be able to hire foreign workers, the act stipulates in its current form.

Businesses are also restricted to hiring only foreign employees with more than two years of work experience and pay them a minimum salary of NT$47,000 a month, the act stipulates.

Jan said the proposed deregulation would exempt startups from parts of the act, but the Ministry of Labor may still have a say in the minimum wage for these workers.

Under HeadStart Taiwan, the government plans to spend more than NT$100 million to transform Taipei’s Zhongshan Soccer Stadium (中山足球場) into a center for business startups, hoping to attract 100 companies a year, Jan said.

The government plans to find a private company or nonprofit organization to manage the center’s operation, Jan said, adding that the government aims to invite both startup accelerators and startup companies to enter the center.

The project would also allow startups to issue convertible bonds and preferred shares that give shareholders more voting power in the companies’ plans, he said.

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