To avoid going out during typhoons, some people like to order delivery from businesses such as pizzerias, fast-food outlets, beverage shops and lunchbox restaurants. However, government officials yesterday reminded employers that they might be breaking labor laws by requiring delivery employees to work in gusty wind and heavy rain.
Since making deliveries during typhoons is liable to cause traffic accidents, Taipei City’s Department of Labor advised employers not to let their workers take on delivery work on typhoon days when work and school classes have been canceled.
In situations where delivery services are necessary, employers have to provide employees with vehicles other than motorcycles, officials said.
“Customers should be sympathetic, and avoid ordering food during typhoon for the sake of workers’ safety,” Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday after presiding over a meeting of Taipei City’s emergency response officials.
“We will hold employers responsible if any workers are hurt while making deliveries,” Hau said, urging fast-food chains, restaurants and tea shops that offered delivery service to either temporarily stop the service or provide safe transportation for delivery staff such as taxis or private cars on typhoon days.
The Labor Standards Inspection Office emphasized that if a delivery person incurs serious injuries during work, employers may face a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to NT$150,000.
Department of Labor Affairs Commissioner Chen Yeh-hsin (陳業鑫) said worker safety should be employers’ top priority.
The office’s deputy director, Huang Wen-chung (黃文鐘), said that if occupational injuries occur, employers must fulfill administrative responsibilities, including wage compensation, medical coverage, disability aid, funeral subsidies and death grants.
Employees can also file civil actions to demand mental compensation and compensation for loss of work ability.
According to McDonald’s Taiwan, if customers order nine meals or more, its outlets will arrange for taxi deliveries. If the rain and wind is too strong, delivery service may be suspended to protect workers from safety hazards, the fast-food chain added.
Meanwhile, 85°C Cafe and Domino’s Pizza said motorcycles were the main means of transportation for its delivery services, adding that if typhoons are too strong, each outlet will suspend the service depending on the current situation.
Additional reporting by Yang Ya-min