Fri, Apr 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Labor law needs revision now: DPP legislator

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Tai-hua yesterday criticizes the government’s five-day workweek policy at a news conference in Taipei.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The new five-day workweek system’s restrictions on working hours have caused consumer prices to increase, making revisions allowing for atypical work arrangements necessary, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) said yesterday.

Lin said the policy — which requires “a fixed day off and a flexible rest day” every seven days, during which employees could be asked to work, but are entitled to higher overtime pay — has increased operating costs, causing consumer prices to rise.

Since its enactment in December last year, the policy has caused employers to try to reduce costs by limiting overtime hours, forcing many employees to seek part-time jobs to make up for lost income, Lin said.

Citing an online job bank survey, Lin said the average monthly cost of living for salaried workers has increased by NT$4,165 since last year, which she said might be due to the policy.

The monthly tuition for private kindergartens is to increase by NT$4,800, and nursing home costs are to go up by NT$1,500, adding another NT$75,600 per year, Lin added.

“If the increased prices for household goods and food are irreversible, policy changes and law amendments could hardly lower the consumer ‘pain index,’” Lin said, calling on the Cabinet to make immediate changes to the policy.

Lin’s call as a member of the pan-green camp was rare, as the law was passed by the DPP-dominated legislature.

“If there is a direct link between the policy and the rise in general prices, the government should make necessary changes, such as formulating a set of special regulations for the service industry” where there are longer working hours and a flexible work schedule, she said.

The government could also consider establishing a “flexible working time account” system that allows workers to “save” and “withdraw” working hours, so employers and workers could increase or decrease work without affecting salaries and welfare.

The Executive Yuan said there is no plan to amend the policy.

Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said the government understands the opposition, but the Ministry of Labor has no plan for revisions.

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