Tue, Jan 01, 2019 - Page 1 News List

New wage, other laws take effect today

HIKES AND SUBSIDIES:The nearly two dozen measures range from higher insurance premiums to income tax exemptions for three groups and drug and scooter subsidies

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Nearly two dozen new government measures are to take effect nationwide this year, with several starting today, from a rise in the minimum wage to new procedures for redeeming receipt lottery winnings.

Starting today, the minimum monthly wage is to increase from NT$22,000 to NT$23,100 (US$716 to US$752), and the minimum hourly wage is to rise from NT$140 to NT$150.

Publicly listed companies are obligated to disclose the salaries of their non-management employees. Those that pay their non-management employees less than NT$40,000 per month must explain why they do so.

The National Pension Program’s premium rate is to rise from 8.5 percent to 9 percent, whereas that for the labor insurance program is to increase from 10.5 percent to 11 percent.

People who work between 10pm and 6am for more than six months straight, or who have accumulated 7,000 hours of work, must undergo mandatory health examinations paid for by employers.

Also starting today, men skilled in athletics, electronic sports or foreign diplomacy can apply for alternative military service.

Aborigines can also apply to fulfill their alternative military service in their tribal villages beginning in April.

People can collect prize money won in the Unified Invoice Lottery at convenience stories if the amount is less than NT$1,000.

Post offices, on the other hand, will stop redeeming prize money won in the lotteries.

Soy sauce makers are obligated to disclose the manufacturing process on packaging labels.

People disposing of two-stroke motorcycles and purchasing electric scooters can receive up to NT$5,500 in government subsidies.

Those who buy motorcycles equipped with an anti-lock braking system would receive a subsidy of NT$4,000, whereas those purchasing motorcycles with a combined braking system would receive NT$1,000.

Multiple large motor bikes can now park into one car parking space.

Several changes in healthcare policies are to take effect today as well. The National Health Insurance Administration has listed 6,500 drugs that people have to pay for out of their own pockets if there are duplicate prescriptions.

The National Health Insurance would also start covering drugs for people with hepatitis C.

The cap set for hospital expenses copaid by patients would be raised from NT$38,000 to NT$39,000.

The Patient Right to Autonomy Act (病人自主權利法) is to take effect on Saturday, making Taiwan the first nation in Asia to implement such a law.

In April, the processing fee for fund transfers via ATMs is to be reduced from NT$15 to NT$10 for amounts from NT$501 to NT$1,000.

There will be no processing fee for fund transfers of not more than NT$500.

Three groups of people will not have to pay income taxes in May: those earning less than NT$30,000 per month or whose annual salaries are below NT$408,000; couples with combined salaries of less NT$816,000 per year; and families with two children under five years old and whose annual household income is below NT$1.23 million.

In August, families with children between ages two and four can receive a subsidy of NT$2,500 per month.

In July, government agencies, public and private schools, department stores, shopping centers, fast-food chains may not give dine-in customers single-use plastic straws.

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