Wed, Nov 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers amend Labor Standards Act to protect children

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers yesterday decided to cap the number of hours a child is permitted to work in certain industries at 40 hours per week, to protect children acting on stage, in motion pictures or TV from working excessive hours.

A child under the age of 15 is allowed under the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) to be employed only when they have graduated from junior-high school and under circumstances that do not not cause mental or physical harm.

Before the amendment was passed, Article 47 had stipulated that child workers must not work more than eight hours a day and that no child worker could be permitted to work on their regular day off.

Employers who violate the act face imprisonment for up to six months and/or fines of up to NT$300,000.

The legislature also passed an amendment to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別工作平等法) to allow female employees to have up to three days off a year because of menstruation, in addition to the sick leave to which she is entitled.

Under the current regulations, a female employee is allowed to request a menstruation leave of one day a month, which is taken from her annual sick leave.

The legislature also passed an amendment to the Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法) aimed at deterring sex-related offenses on campuses with stricter punitive measures.

After the amendment takes effect, school faculty or staff found to have committed a range of sexual offenses, including sexual assaults, sexual harassment or sexual bullying, face dismissal or non-renewal of employment contracts.

There is no explicit punishment under the current law, which states that once a sexual offenses is proven, the school authority must impose penalties on the offender or transfer them to another authority with the jurisdiction to punish them.

The legislature also approved an amendment to the National Sports Act (國民體育法) that designated Sept. 9 as a national sports day, when sports facilities operated by public institutions will be open to the public free of charge.

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