Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Firms required to disclose non-management salaries

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s listed companies are required to reveal the average wage of their non-managerial employees by June next year, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said yesterday.

The new regulations aim to improve listed firms’ corporate governance and transparency, Koo told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee.

Listed firms until this year had to disclose the average of total employees’ benefits in each year’s financial statements at the end of March. The benefits include wages, pensions, and labor and health insurances.

However, Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director Sam Chang (張振山) said listed firms need to focus on non-managerial employees and calculate three sets of data to be reported: their averaged benefits and wages, as well as earnings per share.

“Managers usually receive higher salaries, and if they are included, the average wage would be far higher than grassroots-level employees’ average wage, which the commission is trying to monitor,” Chang told a news conference.

The 1,684 listed firms in Taiwan — 919 trading on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) and 765 on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) — would have to report the three numbers in the Market Observation Post System (MOPS) by June next year, and add median benefits and wages in their MOPS and financial statements by June 2020, the commission said.

The TWSE and TPEX would calculate average wages and average EPS among listed firms by industry, so the public could see the difference, the commission said.

If a company’s average annual wage remains below NT$500,000, a much-watched level by the Ministry of Labor, the firm would need to explain the results via MOPS, it said.

If a company shows growth in its EPS alongside declines in average wages — a scenario the commission said would be “weird” — or its EPS outperforms rivals, but average wages go down, it would also need to explain the situation, it said.

“We expect that workers will be able to check the information to understand firms better, even using the data to fight for benefits, while we also expect corporations to improve if they see that their wages are unreasonably lower than their peers,” a commission official surnamed Kuo (郭) told the Taipei Times by telephone.

Companies that refuse to reveal the numbers could be fined NT$240,000 to NT$2.4 million (US$7,817 to US$78,171), rising to NT$4.8 million after the Securities and Exchange Act (證交法) is amended, the commission said.

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