Workplace rules to be streamlined to bolster investment

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 15, 2017 - Page 3

The Cabinet yesterday announced measures to streamline workplace regulations, financial laws and electronic payment regulations in an effort to improve the local investment environment.

To remove investment obstacles, the government plans to relax 26 laws and regulations, including exempting off-site workers from clock-in requirements; allowing more insurance operators to sell their products online; authorizing smartphone biometric authentication for third-party payments; and relaxing loan regulations for residential mortgages and for unemployed people planning to launch a company.

The Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) requires employers to keep workers’ attendance records and only media workers, telecommuters, field sales agents and drivers are exempt from clocking in.

The Cabinet is to extend the exemption to all off-site workers to improve workplace flexibility, National Development Council chief Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said, adding that the Ministry of Labor would complete revisions to the rules by the end of this month.

Only 10 insurance companies are licensed to sell policies online, but the Financial Supervisory Commission is to approve an across-the-board permission for qualified operators, with more policy types to be made available online, including travel insurance for children under seven.

Third-party transaction service providers are prohibited from indirectly collecting biometric information from consumers, such as via smartphone devices, but the prohibition is to be lifted.

Meanwhile, while a medical staffing rule that requires businesses with more than 300 workers to hire a full-time medical professional is to be relaxed to allow such businesses to employ contract medical staff instead.

The draft revisions are planned to be completed by the end of this year, the Cabinet said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also plans to put forward measures by the end of this year to help start-ups succeed with government assistance.

The nation’s entrepreneurs are faced with an outdated legal framework, insufficient funds, low global visibility and talent shortages, the council said.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) asked the Cabinet to put forward a package within one month to introduce international business incubators, invest in burgeoning start-ups with government capital, improve flexibility for initial public offering and merger processes, as well as other measures.