Fri, Oct 14, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet approves seven-day family care leave bill

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal to allow employees in the private sector to take paid leave for up to seven days per year to take care of children under the age of 12 in the event of typhoons or other natural disasters.

If the amendment to the Gender Equality in Employment Act (性別工作平等法) passes the legislature, employees would be entitled to take paid family leave when local governments declare a typhoon day for schools but not for office workers, the same treatment that civil servants have enjoyed since 2002.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) directed the Council of Labor Affairs to revise the act after his official Facebook page was inundated with messages from parents who complained that they were unable to look after their children when Typhoon Nanmadol hit the country last month.

The new measure, if implemented, would cost local enterprises about NT$120 million (US$4 million) annually, Department of Labor Standards Director Chen Hui-ling (陳慧玲) told a press conference following a Cabinet meeting.

Chen said that the estimation was based on an average of 0.3 days a year declared a typhoon day for schools but not for office workers in the past 10 years.

The council said the amendment would benefit 321,000 households with children under 12 and both parents in the private sector.

At present, only civil servants receive five days of paid family care leave, while employees in the private sector have to take unpaid leave during typhoon days.

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