A bill has been proposed that would allow workers to take paid leave for five days when they have to take care of their family members, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wan Mei-ling (萬美玲) said on Saturday.
Wan proposed an amendment to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別工作平等法) that would entitle employees not working for the government to the same treatment as civil servants.
According to Article 20 of the act, employees can request family care leave to take personal care of family members who need inoculations or have become seriously ill, or to handle other major events.
The act also stipulates that the number of family care leave days may not exceed seven days in one year, while wages during family care leave are calculated based on the related statutes and administrative regulations governing leave for personal reasons.
Civil servants are entitled to pay for five days of the seven-day leave period, but workers not employed by the government do not receive compensation for family care leave, Wan said.
The disparity is a “one country, two systems” mechanism that is not fair to workers, she said.
Disputes arose when the Central Epidemic Command Center, which is leading the country in the battle against COVID-19, announced on Feb. 2 that schools would reopen two weeks later than planned, on Tuesday last week.
Workers who had to take care of their children under the age of 12 largely received no pay for the two weeks, but those working for the government were paid for five days.
Only some major firms such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co paid their employees half of their salaries for their family care leave.
Wan cited a survey conducted by the Child Welfare League Foundation in 2014, which found that 63 percent of parents polled said that seven days of family care leave was not enough.
Therefore, Wan said that she has also proposed that the act be amended to extend family care leave to 10 days.
KMT lawmakers Lee De-wei (李德維) and Wen Yu-hsia (溫玉霞) have proposed a separate amendment to the act that would give workers three days of paid leave for family care leave.
The amendment by Lee and Wen also broadens the requirements for family care leave to family members who suffer dementia and who cannot take care of themselves due to injuries or illness.
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