Thu, Nov 21, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Ministry of Labor issues guidelines on contractors

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Labor on Tuesday issued guidelines aimed at clarifying whether workers should be deemed employees or contractors in labor contracts.

The guidelines are not legally binding, but are designed to help businesses, workers and government agencies to make better determinations.

Under the guidelines, whether a worker should be considered an employee or not largely depends on their level of subordination, or more simply, how much independence they have in determining aspects of their work.

Determining factors include whether workers are allowed to freely choose when, where and how they work, if they can freely refuse assigned work and if they face consequences for violating company regulations.

They also include how involved the worker is in a company’s structure, such as whether they can independently finish their work, or if they have to cooperate with others to do so.

The guidelines include a 25-item checklist to evaluate contracts.

The more items checked off on the list, the more likely it is that the worker should be deemed a formal employee, the ministry said.

Businesses should review their labor contracts and make adjustments if necessary, but labor authorities have the final say in determining whether workers are deemed employees, the ministry said.

The guidelines were drafted in response to the death of two food couriers killed in traffic accidents last month.

The couriers were not insured by their companies, Uber Eats and Foodpanda, as they were deemed to be contractors, not employees.

By law, labor insurance is mandatory for employees of companies with more than five workers, and it covers injuries on the job, death benefits and retirement payments.

Companies that fail to comply are subject to fines.

The incidents sparked investigations into eight food delivery platforms in Taiwan, and the ministry determined that five are formal employers of their couriers or drivers, including Uber Eats and Foodpanda.

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