Employers warned on overtime

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT::Taipei’s Department of Labor Affairs hit employers with NT$21 million in fines this year for abusing regulations on working hours and holidays

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 - Page 3

The number of companies that abuse the “job responsibility system” in Taipei is increasing, Taipei’s Department of Labor Affairs said yesterday, as it warned employers about violating labor laws by making employees work overtime.

According to the latest information from the department, the number of cases in violation of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) reached 523 this year, with overtime work accounting for 199 cases, while there were 142 cases where employees were not given sufficient holidays.

Department commissioner Chen Yeh-shin (陳業鑫) said overtime has been a serious labor issue over the years as a result of employers abusing the job responsibility system. The department would pay closer attention to the problem with regular workplace inspections, Chen said.

“The abuse of the so-called job responsibility system affects workers the most. We urge employers to follow regulations or they will face serious fines,” he said.

The act stipulates that a worker should not regularly work in excess of eight hours a day and 84 hours every two weeks. However, the employer, with the consent of a labor union or the approval of a labor-management conference, may extend workers’ working hours.

According to the act, the combination of extended working hours and regular working hours may not exceed 12 hours a day, and companies that force employees to work overtime face fines of up to NT$300,000 (US$10,300), with the name of the employer to be publicized.

The department has hit employers with more than NT$21 million in fines this year. Last year, there were a total of 614 violations and the department gave out fines totaling NT$15 million.

The department would strengthen inspections and focus its efforts on clamping down on abuses of the system, Chen said, while calling on workers who find their rights being violated to file complaints with the department by dialing the Citizen Hotline on 1999.