Fri, Jun 22, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Family leave bill could make extra session’s agenda

Staff writer, with CNA

A bill to allow paid leave for employees to take care of family members in the event of storms or other natural disasters is likely to be put on the agenda of next month’s extraordinary legislative session, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said.

However, the KMT caucus has not yet agreed on the agenda for the session, he said.

A draft amendment to the Gender Equality in Employment Act (性別工作平等法) seeks to grant paid leave to care for family members during times of natural disasters, under two conditions.

The first condition is that local governments have closed schools but not offices because of a disaster, and the second is that the employee has to care for family members under the age of 12.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers are not happy with the draft bill and there has been no consensus on the amendment, which was proposed by the Cabinet and submitted to the legislature last year, Lin said.

Presently the act allows civil servants a maximum of seven days leave per year for family care, with five days paid, while private sector employees are allowed seven days unpaid leave.

KMT lawmakers say their DPP colleagues are insisting that private sector workers be granted the same terms as government employees.

KMT Legislator Wang Yu-min (王育敏) said that private sector employers would not agree to such a move anytime soon as the measures would cost them around NT$10 billion (US$334.7 million) a year.

At the moment, people only want the government to resolve the problem of not being able to stay at home with their children when schools, but not offices, are closed, she said.

However, because of the DPP lawmakers’ stance, the bill is likely to remain stalled in the legislature, she added.

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