Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

About 75% of employees apprehensive about changes to overtime rules: survey

Staff writer, with CNA

About 75 percent of employees are apprehensive about a government proposal to change the regulations pertaining to overtime work, as they think it would ultimately affect their health and quality of life, according a survey released on Tuesday.

The survey by 1111 Online Job Bank found that among those who are concerned, 25.7 percent fear they would become physically and mentally exhausted if employers were allowed to set longer overtime hours, as proposed.

According to the poll, 19.1 percent of those who are worried are concerned about longer working hours, while 12.4 percent fear they would be forced to work on national holidays.

Although the current regulations allow no more than 40 regular work hours per week, 62 percent of employees work longer hours, the poll showed.

On average, employees put in 11.4 hours of overtime per week, with 67 percent of office workers putting in an extra 9.7 hours per week on work that they take home, while executives work an extra 13 hours per week on tasks at home, according to the survey.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 23 and Monday to obtain workers views on the government’s planned revisions to the overtime regulations.

It collected 1,205 valid questionnaires and had confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus-2.82 percentage points.

The government is proposing to increase the maximum number of overtime time hours from 46 to 54 per month, but cap it at 138 hours over three months.

The aim is to give employers and employees more flexibility to arrange their work schedules without putting too much strain on employers, the government said.

The proposal also addresses the issue of overtime pay on flexible days off, mandating that such compensation is calculated based on the actual amount of time worked rather than on blocks of four or eight hours as is the case at present.

The proposals are part the Ministry of Labor’s draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), which was amended last year, but caused dissatisfaction among both employees and employers.

The amendment aims to better meet the needs of the public, boost the economic development of the nation and establish a flexible labor system that guarantees the rights and protection of workers, the ministry said.

On Monday, the Cabinet and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators agreed to the proposals, which now have to be vetted by the ministry’s Legal Affairs Committee and Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億), who is in charge of the matter, before being sent to the Cabinet for approval.

If approved by the Cabinet, the revisions still have to be passed by the 113-seat legislature, in which the DPP holds 68 seats.

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