As the minimum wage raise is going to take effect Jan 1 next year, student and labor groups released survey results Monday that show more than two thirds of employers who hired students to work part time had seriously violated the Labor Standards Act and that Taiwanese youth are subjected to abominable working conditions.
Student groups from National Sun Yat-sen University, Tunghai University, Fu Jen Catholic University and National Chengchi University as well as labor groups including Pioneer Labor held a press conference to release the results of a survey on student employment, pay and working conditions around the four universities.
A total of 211 businesses were surveyed. The survey found that 67.77 percent of the businesses violated the labor law, with 44.08 percent not registering their employees for labor and national health insurances being the most serious breach of law. The results also show that 17.6 percent of the business surveyed paid their employees less than the minimum wage, and 45.5 percent did not pay double time for hours worked on holidays.
Pioneer Labor director Wu Chao-ju said even though employers of businesses with less than five employees are not required by law to register their employees for labor insurance, most employers had not informed applicants of this condition during job interviews.
With regard to pay, NSYSU student representative Lin Tung said the current minimum hourly wage is NT$126, but many stores around the universities paid much less, with a chain store drink retailer paying only NT$80 at the beginning and NT$95 after hiring. Some stores even paid nothing for the first week of probation, Lin added.
Besides, some employers asked student employees to work on holidays, but didn’t pay them twice the regular rate, according to the survey.
Wu said Taiwanese youth have been subjected to deplorable working conditions, urging the Ministry of Labor and local labor authorities to conduct labor inspections as soon as possible and require employers to abide by the labor law. He also called on students to boycott businesses violating the labor law by not patronizing them.