Wed, Jan 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Judicial Yuan proposes bill to improve workers’ rights

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Judicial Yuan on Monday said it is aiming to improve workers’ rights by including a number of reform-orientated draft amendments to the Labor Dispute Act (勞動事件法草案), as lawmakers gave tentative support for the move.

Labor disputes need to be expedited and resolved within a given time frame because workers are often at an economic disadvantage, Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Lu Tai-lang (呂太郎) said when announcing details of the bill, while asking legal experts and interested parties for their input.

Among the proposed measures are the creation of an independent “labor court,” codification of the judicial mediation mechanism for labor dispute litigation, adding new regulations to expedite the mediation and judicial processes, and reducing the financial requirements on workers when applying for provisional seizure of a company’s assets to prevent their transfer ahead of compensation claims.

The bill is the result of recommendations made by the National Congress on Judicial Reform committee meetings last year, Lu said, adding that the Judicial Yuan would compile the feedback from legal experts and interested parties next month, then forward the bill for review by the Executive Yuan.

In the past, workers who were plaintiffs faced many difficulties because cases often dragged on, which placed them at an economic disadvantage due to their loss of job and income, or an inability to find new work, Judicial Yuan Civil Department Director Chiu Jui-hsiang (邱瑞祥) said.

“Therefore, we have given workers more job protection in the proposed bill,” Chiu said. “After filing a labor dispute case, if the plaintiff wants to remain working for the same company, the court can hand the company an injunction to continue the plaintiff’s employment and, if the company has no major difficulty, for the plaintiff to stay in their job.”

The proposal to establish an independent labor court to specifically deal with labor disputes is among 53 articles in the bill.

The formation of a judicial mediation committee — composed of one judge and two mediation panel members — to settle the case within three hearings and appeals has also been proposed.

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday said in a statement that it would endorse the bill.

“We hope it can provide workers with the necessary means to fight for their rights, give more balance to labor dispute negotiations and uphold the aims of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法),” the NPP said.

The NPP would continue to push for amendments to the Act for Settlement of Labor-Management Disputes (勞動訴訟程序法草案), which passed its first reading in the legislature last month, it said.

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