The Council of Labor Affairs is working on a proposal to boost workers’ rights and benefits for typhoon days, council minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) said yesterday.
The Labor Standards Act (勞動基本法) currently stipulates that in the event of a typhoon or other natural disaster, an employee who originally had the day off and is called in to work is entitled to double pay and time off in lieu.
However, if the employee was scheduled to be on duty and could not get to work because of poor weather conditions, the employer is not required to pay any wage because there is no “typhoon leave,” the law says.
While some private companies allow workers to take paid leave during typhoons, this is discretionary, not a right.
Wang yesterday said that while the council would not make it mandatory for companies to pay the day’s salary if a worker originally on duty could not make it to work because of weather conditions, the council would advise companies that they “should” pay the worker.
“When workers encounter a situation that is out of their control, such as a typhoon or other natural disaster, and they cannot make it to work ... we [the council] will use an encouragement approach,” she said. “Employers should pay wages to their employees.”
If a company asks a worker who originally did not have the day off to work in the event of a typhoon, the company should offer the worker double pay and provide assistance such as transportation, she said of the drafted proposal.
The proposal would also seek to relieve workers of their responsibility to provide evidence that they could not make it to work because of a typhoon or other natural disaster.
As typhoon season approaches, the issue of whether workers at private companies should be entitled to the same rights and benefits as government employees for typhoon days has again received attention.
Labor groups have been pushing for legislation for workers to be paid double time or, like government employees, be able to take the day off when the Central Personnel Administration announces a typhoon day.
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