The newly passed amendment to the Labor Standards Act takes effect on Friday, a week earlier than Jan 1, 2017 as expected after President Tsai Ing-wen signed it into law on Tuesday.
The amendment stipulates that there are two days off for every seven days, one of which is an “official holiday” and the other is a “rest day.” The “official holiday” is a mandatory holiday, but the “rest day” means workers who need more income can opt to work on this day if the company offers them to work.
The new regulations about overtime pay will come into effect on Friday as well, stipulating that employees will be paid an hourly wage of 2.34 times the regular hourly wage if they work on a “rest day” for within two hours, and will be paid an hourly wage of 2.67 times from the third hour on. Working for more than two hours but less than four hours on a “rest day” will be calculated as working for four hours, working for between four and eight hours will be regarded as working for eight hours, and working for between 8 hours and 12 hours will be regarded as working for 12 hours, according to the new regulations.
However, the revocation of seven national holidays for private sector workers to achieve a unified national holiday system for all sectors as well as regulations regarding annual leaves will take effect on Jan 1, 2017, as stipulated in the amendment. That explains why the Constitution Day on Dec 25, 2016 is still a national holiday for private sector workers.
The amendment also provides for longer annual leaves. A totally new clause says that workers who work at a same company for more than six months but less than one year are eligible to three days of annual leave, whereas in the past they got no annual leave.
Besides, the new amendment stipulates that workers with seniority over two years but less than three years are eligible to 10 days of annual leaves instead of seven days in the past, and workers with seniority over three years but less than five years get 14 days of annual leave instead of 10 days they got in the past, workers with seniority over five years but less than 10 years get 15 days instead of 14 days in the past, and those who have been employed by a same company for more than 10 years will get one additional day of annual leave every year until reaching the maximum 30 days, according to the new regulations.
However, the stipulation that shift workers should get at least 11 hours of rest before working another shift will not be enforced until the Executive Yuan announces a date, said Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Mei-ling.
She said the reason to put off the 11-hour requirement is because currently shift workers only rest eight hours before working another shift, and the immediate enforcement of the requirement will greatly impact some industries already strapped for labor power, such as the transportation and service sectors.