Ahead of Workers’ Day yesterday, a new poll by an online job bank shed light on the poor working conditions that many Taiwanese office workers face.
In poll results released on Saturday, 77.4 percent of office workers in Taiwan said they felt like they were living a “deprived” life characterized by low income, long hours of work and a lack of sleep.
Conducted by online job bank Yes123, the poll results also show that 63.9 percent of office workers work an average of 10.4 hours a day, with 21.4 percent working more than 11 hours per day, far exceeding the maximum hours allowed by law in Taiwan.
Photo: PATRICK LIN, AFP
The law stipulates an employee should not regularly work more than eight hours a day or 84 hours per two weeks.
Almost 56 percent of office workers said they spent too much time at work, even though as much as 31.8 percent earn less than NT$22,115 per month, the minimum wage for Taiwan recommended by the International Labor Organization based on the country’s cost of living and social welfare schemes.
Yes123 deputy manager Chiu Wen-jen (邱文仁) said the poll results showed that office workers were not getting higher pay for working longer hours, but were instead living “deprived” lives.
In addition, close to 70 percent of office staff said they were not being paid for overtime. Among this group, 47.2 percent work in companies that do not give overtime pay or compensatory leave, 14 percent are entitled only to compensatory leave, and 6 percent are afraid to apply for overtime pay, even though it is offered by their companies.
Long working hours have also affected the sleep of workers. The poll showed office workers, on average, sleep only 6.2 hours per night, less than the seven to eight hours of sleep recommended for adults.
A total of 68 percent of office employees said they are not getting enough sleep, with 37.4 percent considering themselves in poor health.
As a result, some employees said they are prone to fatigue (75.8 percent), absent-mindedness (56.7 percent) and an inability to be creative (19.6 percent).
About 63 percent of office employees said they actually concentrate on work for less than seven hours a day. Based on this statistic, Chiu said companies could achieve a “win-win” situation by thinking of ways to boost employee productivity while limiting their hours of work.
Taiwan’s working hours are the fifth-longest in the world, behind South Korea, Mexico, Hong Kong and India, a 2007 report published by the Lausanne-based International Institute for Management Development showed.
The Yes123 online poll, conducted between April 11 and April 17, collected 2,140 valid samples and has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.05 percentage points.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two