Workers in Taiwan do not get extra time off for national holidays if they fall on weekends, but a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker is hoping to change that with legislation that would turn administrative guidelines on holidays into a formal statute.
“It would deprive people of the right to take a vacation” if under the new statute people were not given days off to make up for the holidays missed, KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said at a hearing of the legislature’s Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
However, the Ministry of the Interior said the current system for civil servants was necessary to avoid creating too big a gap between public and private sector vacation time.
Civil servants currently have weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and national holidays off.
However, existing guidelines stipulate that if a national -holiday (except for the Lunar New Year break) falls on a weekend, it is not to be made up. Most companies in Taiwan follow this formula.
not made up
The ministry included that stipulation in its draft bill on “commemorative days and holidays,” but Wu and other lawmakers have raised objections to the measure.
Urging the government and companies to stop “taking advantage of the people,” Wu said that making up a weekend holiday on a Friday or Monday and creating a long weekend would also be good for the economy.
Deputy Minister of the Interior Lin Tsyr-ling (林慈玲), however, said that adding more days off for civil servants would only widen the gap in the number of holidays taken between employees in the public and private sectors.
There will be 115 vacation days next year, including weekends, Lin said, and if people wanted more, the government also had to consider whether such a demand would jeopardize the country’s industrial and commercial development.
Surveys conducted by the ministry show that most people support maintaining the current practice, she said.