Taipei (Taiwan News) In an open letter released on Tuesday, Rock Hsu (許勝雄), Chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries, listed five recommendations on the new "one fixed day off and one flexible rest day" (一例一休) system to create a "win-win-win" scenario.
Since the new workweek regulations kicked in, some business sectors are reporting a rise in costs, with convenience stores estimating a 20 percent increase in labor costs and some stores closing two days a week to cut costs. The new labor law has also translated into higher product and service prices; the preliminary estimate for the annual CPI in 2017 is set to rise 0.3 percentage points, with the biggest impact anticipated to be seen in the individual service, food service, leisure and mechanical repair sectors.
The following are Hsu's recommendations:
1. Study the challenges and adjustments faced by various industries
Hsu recommended the government first conduct a survey of all trades and professions to understand how the new law is being implemented. He suggested doing this by mobilizing the 1,000 labor inspectors to inspect companies and gather opinions.
2. Aid the charities and dealing with manpower and funding shortages
After attending an charity event a few days ago, Hsu found that with the implementation of the new workweek regulations, annual costs are expected to go up NT$2 to NT$3 million, which compounds already existing funding challenges. Due to the added labor costs, some daily classes have been canceled, affecting the welfare of mentally and physically handicapped students. "The environment provided by society is really too cruel," he said.
3. Pay particular attention to the impact on small and medium enterprises
The new regulations have not only caused issues with scheduling, manpower utilization, and calculating overtime, but have also strained human resources and accounting management systems. In this regard, the government is best able to assist employers in revising or building related software systems, while providing the best management practices for the industry.
4. Relax the monthly overtime work ceiling
Hsu claims that the disadvantages of the overtime restriction with the new law are that it leads to scheduling problems for employers and "causes workers to lose the opportunity to work overtime." He suggests that the government provide flexibility in the monthly overtime limit based on the characteristics of a particular industry.
5. Work toward building a new "social lifestyle"
Hsu closed by saying it will only be through innovation in production and services provided by private enterprises that it be possible to achieve a "win-win-win" scenario. He recommended using case studies to re-examine operating models used by domestic manufacturers, small and medium-sized enterprises and service industries, and propose a "new development model" based on these findings.