A spate of new regulations will come into force across Taiwan on New Year’s Day mandating higher monthly and hourly minimum wages, greater patient autonomy in healthcare and more stringent rules for reporting traffic violations.
The monthly minimum wage in Taiwan will from Tuesday next week be increased by NT$1,100 from NT$22,000 to NT$23,100, while the hourly minimum wage will be increased by NT$10 from NT$140 to NT$150.
The wage increases are expected to affect about 1.8 million employees, including 1.36 million Taiwanese workers and 438,000 migrant workers.
To complement the pay raises, the maximum limit of monthly contributions for the 19th grade of the Table of Labor Pension Contributions in relation to the Monthly Contribution Wages Classification of Labor Pension will be increased from NT$22,800 to NT$23,100.
In line with the adjustment of basic wages, the Grade 1 insurance salary on the Labor Insurance — Table of Grades of Insurance Salary will be changed to NT$23,100.
The premium rate for ordinary insurance under the Labor Insurance system for individuals insured through occupational unions or fishers’ associations will also be increased from 9.5 percent to 10 percent.
The moves are expected to affect 10.39 million people.
In the new year, National Pension premiums will be calculated according to a premium rate of 9 percent, up 0.5 percent from the current 8.5 percent, affecting 3.21 million people, with monthly premiums rising by NT$28 to NT$55.
In terms of National Health Insurance premiums, which are calculated as a proportion of income, 170,000 individuals with monthly salaries from NT$22,801 to NT$23,100 and whose basic salary (the amount on which premiums are calculated) is NT$24,000 will see their monthly premium cut by NT$13, because their basic salary will be revised down to NT$23,100.
At the same time, 3.12 million income earners with a basic salary of NT$22,000 to NT$22,800 will see their monthly premium increase by NT$4 to NT$15 because their basic salary will be revised up to NT$23,100.
In terms of patient rights, Taiwan is to become the first country in Asia to stipulate respect for patient autonomy in healthcare, which includes definitions on the termination of life-sustaining treatment, as well as artificial nutrition and hydration, when the Patient Right to Autonomy Act (病人自主權利法) takes effect on Jan. 6.
Under the act, patients in five clinical conditions who have pre-registered a decision may instruct medical institutions or physicians to partially or fully terminate, withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatments, artificial nutrition and hydration.
The conditions state that such patients must be terminally ill, in an irreversible coma, in a persistent vegetative state or suffering from severe dementia; or have other conditions determined to be unbearable or incurable.
People reporting traffic violations from next week are required to submit their real name and valid national identification number in a bid to curb malicious reporting.
Finally, to free up more parking space, from Tuesday next week, riders are allowed to park more than one heavy motorcycle in roadside car parking spaces.
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