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Abolition of holidays to take effect January 1

November and December holidays still valid

Lawmakers fight over abolition of holidays.

Lawmakers fight over abolition of holidays. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Even if the government’s proposal to abolish seven holidays for workers is approved soon, two projected holidays will still be valid because the new regulations will only take effect January 1, a Cabinet spokesman said Thursday.

The government plan has become mired in heated debate and clashes at the Legislative Yuan, with some labor organizations protesting against the removal of seven out of 19 days off per year.

Because the changes might pass a third and final reading on November 8, media reports speculated that the two holidays still left at the end of the year would be immediately abolished, but Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said such was not the case.

However, both of the days off fall on a weekend, which might reduce their impact, reports said. After next Monday’s anniversary of President Chiang Kai-shek’s birth, which will not be affected by any changes this year, the November 12 anniversary of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s birth falls on a Saturday, and Constitution Day, which is also Christmas, December 25, on a Sunday.

Hsu said that whenever the removal of the seven holidays was approved by lawmakers, this year’s holidays would still remain in place because the new regulations only came into effect from 2017.

According to the Ministry of Labor, compensation days off would be provided for national holidays falling on a weekend.

The days off are only valid for workers, not for other large groups of people such as teachers, students, civil servants and bank staff.