Fri, Oct 02, 2015 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Long working hours

According to data from the Ministry of Labor, the average employee in Taiwan worked a total of 2,135 hours last year.

The number is far higher than the average number of yearly working hours in Japan, which stands at 1,729, and the US, where the average employee works 1,789 hours per year; even further behind Germany and the UK, where the average employee works 1,371 hours and 1,677 hours per year respectively.

The main reason Taiwanese workers place so much importance on typhoon days could be not that they are lazy, but because their working hours are excessive and paid holidays are too short.

Perhaps it is this lack of balance between private and professional life that makes people rejoice over the small happiness presented by an unexpected holiday caused by a typhoon.

In addition to determining the standards for when to announce a typhoon day based on scientifically calculated measurements such as the amount of rainfall and wind strength, the government should also look at whether it would be possible to set a legally determined number of work hours in combination with appropriate amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) to let workers experience the great joy of a long and substantial holiday.

Huang Tzu-wei

New Taipei City

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