Sat, Nov 11, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Labor Law Amendments: KMT outlines objectives of its amendment

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday established objectives for its draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法): allowing workers to defer unused annual leave to the next year, 11 hours of rest between shifts and giving employees the freedom to decide whether they are to receive overtime pay or compensatory days off.

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) announced the establishment of the three objectives and said the caucus firmly opposes the Cabinet’s plan to relax a policy stipulating that employers must give workers at least one day off every seven days.

The Ministry of Labor has proposed easing the workweek policy for all industries without first ascertaining which need such a rule change, Chiang said.

The KMT caucus opposes reducing the interval between shifts from 11 to eight hours, which would deprive workers of sufficient rest time, he said.

The KMT’s draft amendment would retain the 11-hour rest period and would be scheduled to go into effect on July 1 next year to prevent the Executive Yuan from postponing implementation, he added.

The KMT caucus opposes the Cabinet’s proposal to raise maximum monthly overtime from 46 to 54 hours with a cap of 138 hours every three months, as it could create a loophole for employers to exploit, Chiang said.

For example, a worker asked to work 30, 54 and 54 hours of overtime in the first three-month period and 54, 54 and 30 hours in the second three-month period would be overworked for four straight months, Chiang said, adding that all KMT caucus members believe there is no need to raise the monthly overtime maximum, which would only give rise to overwork.

The caucus supports the existing rules in the “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” labor policy, such as the formula to calculate overtime pay, he said.

The KMT caucus also opposes the Cabinet’s proposal to allow employers to pay overtime according to the actual number of hours works, as it believe that the current rules are more favorable to employees, Chiang said, contradicting his own remarks in a radio interview last week, in which he said the caucus supported the proposal.

The labor rules that went into effect in December last year stipulate that employers should pay workers asked to work on their day off 2.33 times their hourly wage for the first two hours and 2.66 times from the third hour.

Overtime pay on days off is calculated in four and eight-hour periods, depending on whether an employee worked between one and four hours or between five and eight hours.

The KMT caucus aims to submit its draft amendment to the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee for review before noon on Monday, when the Executive Yuan is scheduled to submit its version of the amendment, Chiang said.

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