With the exception of doctors all healthcare workers are to be paid overtime from tomorrow under the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法)
The health workers were previously not protected by the working hours regulations of the act, instead conforming to an article within the act which states that these employees may “arrange their own working hours, regular days off and national holidays through other agreements with their employers.”
A growing number of nurses and other healthcare workers have protested what they called the hospitals’ abuse of manpower.
“Once the healthworkers adjust back to regular working hours, they are required to be paid overtime wages when working overtime,” Council of Labor Affairs official Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) said. “They will also be protected by the regulation on the maximum number of overtime hours, which is 46 hours a month.”
Under the act, regular working hours are not to exceed eight hours a day and 48 hours every two weeks, and the combined regular hours and overtime in a day may not exceed 12 hours.
The council said some healthcare workers, including technicians and medical personnel working in hemodialysis units, radiotherapy units, blood banks and respiratory therapy rooms have already been covered by the regulation since March last year.
The rest, which include those working in emergency rooms, operation rooms and intensive care units, are to go onto regular working hours from tomorrow.
The Taiwan Radical Nurses Union has played down the changes, citing a worrying drain on the numbers of nurses, the little hope of compensation for past grievances, such as the example of hospitals keeping nurses on call, counting the hours as “regular” rather than overtime.