Sun, Aug 31, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan works too hard: survey

OVERTIME A recent survey found that almost 30 percent of the respondents work on average more than 62 hours a week, or 20 hours more than normally expected

STAFF WRITER

The Taiwanese people have worked too hard, and over 75 percent of the respondents in a survey think that they have excessive workloads, the local media reported yesterday.

According to the results of the survey -- jointly conducted by CHEERS magazine and the udnjob.com Web site between Aug. 7 and 13 -- almost 30 percent of the 1,383 respondents work more than 62 hours a week on average.

Their real working hours are about 20 hours a week more than the regular hours stipulated by the government.

In other words, the respondents work an average of four hours overtime every day.

The results of the survey also show that as many as one fourth of the Taiwanese people often need to work overtime on weekends or holidays.

Some answered that they work longer in order to improve their competitiveness as well as to learn new skills, while others said that they work overtime due to their fear of being laid off.

Meanwhile, the survey challenges the credibility of the government's labor report, which was published by the Cabinet's Council of Labor Affairs last July.

According to the report, only 11.3 percent of Taiwan's enterprises expected their employees to work overtime.

The report concluded that the Taiwanese people work an average of 5.32 hours of overtime a week (about one hour a day) -- which is obviously very far removed from the real situation, according to the survey yesterday.

The survey conductors say that the government has ignored the fact that many Taiwanese people often take their work home, and therefore underestimated the amount of extra hours people work.

According to the survey results, those in the research and development field work the longest hours.

As many as 42.9 percent of them work over 20 hours of overtime a week, and about 20.3 percent of them work more than 30 hours extra a week.

The results of the survey tally with a report published by the International Institute for Management Development last year.

According to the institute's annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, the Taiwanese people work the longest hours in the world, with an average of about 2,282 working hours a year.

This number is much higher than that of other economies analyzed, which work an average of 1,925 hours per year. In other words, the Taiwanese people annually work 357 more hours than other people.

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