Following a call from the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) for increased flexibility in labor regulations, the Cabinet yesterday said it has no plan to revise an amendment that stipulates stricter leave and overtime regulations.
In its Taiwan White Paper released yesterday, the AmCham described the amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) as “a great leap backward” in terms of the rigidity of working hours and overtime pay.
The amendment specifies a five-day workweek with one mandatory day off and a “flexible” rest day on which employees can be asked to work, provided they are paid a high overtime rate.
Describing the provisions as “suitable for a factory production line,” the AmCham called for more flexibility in labor regulations to create room for the service sector — the future driver of the economy.
Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said the Cabinet has heard the voices of business groups — including those of local business leaders on Wednesday calling for more labor flexibility — but there is no plan to revise the amendment.
“The Executive Yuan has not changed its attitude toward the Labor Standards Act,” Hsu said. “There is no plan to revise the policy.”
The amendment was promulgated in December last year and the government has made the first half of this year an adjustment period for businesses to adapt to the new rules, so there is no plan for revisions, he said.
Some businesses have misinterpreted the weekly leave policy, as they wrongly assumed that the mandatory day off and the rest day had to be on weekends, but the policy is actually flexible and allows employers and employees to decide their leave scheme, Hsu said.
However, some Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers have drafted proposals to revise the amendment and the Cabinet is to negotiate with the party caucus after the extraordinary legislative session ends, he said.
Negotiating with lawmakers does not mean that the Cabinet would revise the law, but the Executive Yuan is obliged to enact laws passed by the Legislative Yuan, even if they replace regulations, he said.
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