A company in Taipei was fined NT$35,000 (US$1200) for its failure to give maternity pay to an employee, Taipei City’s Department of Labor Affairs said yesterday, calling for more attention to labor rights in the workplace.
The case was revealed earlier this year when an employee filed a complaint against her company, accusing her employer of granting her pregnancy leave starting from July, but failing to pay her monthly salary during the period.
According to the employee, her superior granted her two months of pregnancy and maternity leave and said she could return to her post as a receptionist at a swimming facility.
However, the company failed to pay her salary during the maternity leave and closed the swimming pool, leaving her unemployed, she said.
Taipei City’s Gender Employment Equality Review Committee determined that the company violated the Gender Employment Equality Act (性別工作平等法) and should be fined NT$35,000.
Department of Labor Affairs Commissioner Chen Yeh-shin (陳業鑫) said employers cannot force pregnant employees to take unpaid leave during their pregnancy, and are required to pay at least 50 percent of their monthly salary to employees on pregnancy leave.
“Employers should be aware of gender equality in the workplace. It is against the law to force employees to leave their posts during their pregnancies,” he said.
Article 15 of the act states that pregnant workers are entitled to paid leave when a doctor’s diagnosis is provided and that employers should pay 50 percent of their salary during the leave.
Discrimination against pregnant women accounted for the largest number of complaints received by the department in relation to violation of the act since it was introduced in 2002, Chen said, as he promised to strengthen efforts to promote gender equality in the workplace.
Violators of the act face a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.