Legislature passes amendment on employee privacy

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - Page 3

The legislature yesterday approved an amendment to the Employment Services Act (就業服務法), adding an article forbidding employers from demanding non-job related information from employees, or risk facing fines of between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000.

Under the new amendment, employers cannot require employees to provide personal data unrelated to work, or retain IDs, work permits, certificates or property against the will of employees or those applying for jobs.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Hui-chen (江惠貞) said that the article was designed to protect people from criminal syndicates as personal information and data leaks are a source of fraud.

The amended act stipulates that employers cannot inquire about non-job related issues in job interviews such as political party inclination, sexual orientation or whether the applicant is pregnant.

Employment equality laws stipulate that employers shall not discriminate against any job applicants on the basis of ethnicity, class, language, opinions, religious beliefs, political affiliations, place of birth, place of origin of an applicant’s ancestors, gender, sexual orientation, age, appearance, physical or mental disability, unless otherwise stated in other laws.

In related developments, the legislature yesterday concluded a nearly two-month-long question-and-answer session with Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) and will proceed to review the draft budget statement for next year as well as other draft bills.