Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Su calls for balanced proposals on work hour policy

FLEXIBILITY:DPP Legislator Ho Hsin-chun’s draft called for the overtime maximum limit of 46 hours to be spread out over three months and be extended to 54 hours

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

As lawmakers across party lines prepare to propose changes to a controversial amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said such adjustments must take into consideration the needs of both employers and workers.

Su’s remark followed a report by the Chinese-language Commercial Times, which said that draft changes proposed by industrial and commercial unions call for overtime pay to equal two times a worker’s salary for small and medium-sized companies and 2.5 times for employees of listed firms, while extending overall work hours to 60 hours per week and capping total working hours at 300 hours per six months.

The latest amendments to the act, which were promulgated on Dec. 23 last year, introduced a “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” policy requiring workers to have one fixed day off per week and overtime pay if they work on the flexible rest day.

The amendments also canceled seven national holidays.

A draft bill proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) calls for the 46-hour maximum for overtime per month to be spread out over three months and extended to 54 hours.

It also calls for overtime to be calculated on an hourly basis, instead of the common practice of counting the first four hours of overtime as four hours and any time afterward as the maximum of eight.

Whichever proposal guarantees workers the ability to make a living and takes into consideration the amount of flexibility a company can have while ensuring its ability to survive will be the option considered for legislation, Su said.

DPP Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said he was open to suggestions should more changes be made to the act.

The government is hearing the opinions of both employers and workers, Tsai said.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) said the Cabinet would carefully consider the issue after hearing all the public has to say with an open mind, but added that details would be made available only after the Legislative Yuan has concluded its inquiries to the Executive Yuan.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus vice secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) said that once the Cabinet has made a proposal for an amendment, the KMT would meet to formulate a response.

Amendments must balance the opinions of both sides, Lee said, adding that complaints have all been from employers.

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