CLA explains holiday rules
Employees who work on any of the days from today until Tuesday during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday period are entitled to double pay, the Council of Labor Affairs said. The Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) stipulates that Lunar New Year’s Eve and the first three days of the Lunar New Year are national holidays, the council said. Employers should obtain the permission of employees asked to work during those four days and must pay double the regular wage, it said. Alternatively, employees may be given compensatory days off, but only if they agree to such an arrangement, the council said. The regulations apply to monthly and hourly paid workers, the council said, adding that the hourly minimum wage is NT$109.
Minister to visit France, UK
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) is to visit France and the UK from Feb. 17 to inspect Taiwan’s cultural centers there and to meet with French and British officials to discuss opportunities for deepening cultural ties. Lung is to meet with British Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey and former French culture minister Jack Lang during her 10-day trip to the two countries. Lung said she will exchange views with Vaizey on popular music and cultural and creative industry policies. According to the ministry, Lung will also host the 17th French-Taiwanese Cultural Foundation Award in France on Feb. 18 and visit cultural facilities in Paris, as well as the National Library of France, London’s Roundhouse and Franco-German TV network Arte. She is to give a speech at the University of London on Feb. 22 and another titled: “Civil Society in the Making” at the University of Cambridge on Feb. 26, the ministry added.
Unstable weather forecast
The nation could see unstable weather patterns during the coming week as the country takes a break to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Starting today, seasonal winds will keep the daily low at 15°C in most parts of the country, with rainfall likely in northern areas, the bureau predicted. The cool weather should persist until early Tuesday, when it will be replaced by higher temperatures and clearer skies, the bureau said. However, the respite will be short-lived, as another cold front should push the mercury lower again on Wednesday, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 18°C in the north and 16°C to 26°C in the south. Temperatures will recover on Thursday, with daily highs increasing by about 5°C to 23°C in the north. While cloudy to sunny skies are expected for most of the holiday in central and southern Taiwan, northern Taiwan will likely see some sunshine on Tuesday and Thursday, the bureau said.
King attends US ceremony
Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) attended a national prayer gathering in Washington for the first time on Thursday and described participating in the activity as “very meaningful.” King said the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual gathering of US religious and political heavyweights, helped him realize that the spirit of tolerating diversity is what makes a country great. He said that while he does not hold any religious beliefs, it is evident that faith is a source of strength and support that helps people get through ups and downs, and especially low points, in their lives. King also said he was inspired by US President Barack Obama’s speech at the event. Obama spoke of the humbleness of great US leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr, calling the virtue a core value of leadership.