Wed, Jan 01, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Series of new government policies to take effect today

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Several new government policies are scheduled to take effect today and tomorrow as the nation ushers in the new year.

Starting today, the minimum hourly wage is to be increased from NT$109 per hour to NT$115 per hour. The wage limit applies to workers in supermarkets, restaurants or other businesses who are paid by the hour.

The minimum monthly wage is to be adjusted to NT$19,273 on July 1.

In addition, about 140,000 nurses are to be protected by the Labor Standards Act (勞基法) in terms of standard working hours.

Employers are to be fined up to NT$300,000 if they are found to be overworking nurses, including those working in emergency rooms, intensive care units and delivery rooms.

Despite the impending change in regulations, some have warned that nurses will still need to work overtime if the shortage of nursing personnel is not addressed.

Freeway drivers are to start paying toll fees based on the distance they travel on freeways from tomorrow, when the transitional period for the new freeway “pay-as-you-go” policy ends.

The Directorate-General of Highways said that tire treads would be listed as one of the important items to be inspected at vehicle registration offices. Tires with a tread of less than 1.6mm would fail the inspection, and the drivers will have a month to fix the issue and have it approved by the directorate.

Meanwhile, ticket prices for 24 domestic aviation routes are scheduled to rise today, with the percentage of increase ranging from 2 to 10 percent.

Previously, the Civil Aeronautics Administration only promised to subsidize domestic flights bought by residents of outlying islands.

However, it announced yesterday that the subsidy would be given to residents of Hualien and Taitung counties as well, which also takes effect today.

The agency said that the electrification of the railway line between Hualien and Taitung has yet to be completed.

It said the subsidy program would be temporarily expanded to ease the financial burden on people living on the nation’s east coast who would need to use air transportation.

Also starting today, the Environmental Protection Administration is to enhance the inspection of the residue at the bottom of rivers, channels, lakes and reservoirs across the nation following a series of incidents in which corporations illegally discharged toxic wastewater that contaminated the soil and water.

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