Wed, Jan 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Nearly 60 percent oppose new labor law changes: poll

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Nearly 60 percent of people disapprove of the latest labor law amendments, while 62 percent believe the amendments only benefit employers, a Pollster Online Survey poll has found.

More than 40 percent of poll respondents said that the rules stipulated in the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) should be relaxed to increase flexibility for workers, with 30 percent disagreeing, the poll said.

However, when asked for their view on each of the amendments that the government said would increase flexibility, a majority of respondents said they do not support them.

The amendment that reduces rest time between shifts from 11 to eight hours is the least popular, with 61 percent of respondents saying they do not support the change, while only 15 percent saying they do, the poll said.

The amendment that increased the maximum number of consecutive work days from seven to 12 is the second-least popular, the poll said, with 58 percent not approving of the change and only 14 percent approving of it.

Forty-seven percent of respondents disapproved of the amendment that increased the monthly overtime cap from 46 hours to 54 hours, with 21 percent saying they approve of it.

Respondents appeared divided over the amendment that requires companies to pay workers overtime by actual hours worked instead of in blocks of four hours, with 33 percent supporting the change and 39 opposing it.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents are not happy with the amendments overall, while only 13 percent are happy, the poll said.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said the amendments benefit only employers, while only 12 percent said they benefit both employers and employees.

The survey said that 61 percent of respondents believe that the amendments provide less protection for workers’ rights, while 10 percent believe the opposite.

An analysis of the survey showed that respondents who are younger and who have lower job positions are more likely to oppose the amendments.

“The amendments were definitely a mistake,” National Chengchi University Institute of Labor Research professor Liu Mei-chun (劉梅君) said.

Keeping salaries low and prolonging work hours will not make the nation more competitive in the global market, she said, adding that the government should develop a more sustainable economic model.

“I hope the government can amend the labor law again soon, because the faster you correct a mistake the better,” she added.

The poll — commissioned by the Grassroots Influence Culture and Education Foundation, and conducted between Jan. 12 and Wednesday last week — collected 1,120 online questionnaires from people aged 20 and above. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.93 percentage points.

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