Taiwan labor official: Workers have the right to decide when to take compensatory leave

A Taiwanese Ministry of Labor (MOL) official said Wednesday that if private sector employees choose to take compensatory leave for the overtime they worked, they have the right to decide when to take their leave

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(photo from Pixabay)

(photo from Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A Taiwanese Ministry of Labor (MOL) official said Wednesday that private sector employees have the right to choose whether to get paid or take compensatory leave for the overtime they worked, and if they choose the latter, they also have the right to decide when to take their leave.

The amended Labor Standards Act took effect on March 1. Most notably the new labor law repeals the regulations regarding the quadruple pay for overtime and stipulates that workers can choose to get paid for overtime or to have compensatory leave on a one-to-one basis. The new regulations also stipulate that unused annul paid leave can be deferred to the following year.

However, after the new labor law became effective, many workers still wrote to the ministry to ask questions.

Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), deputy director of MOL’s Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said the most asked questions concentrated on regulations regarding overtime pay, compensatory leave and one day off every seven days.

The MOL said employees have the option of choosing between getting paid or compensatory leave for their overtime, and employers cannot unilaterally give their employees only one option, such as only getting compensatory leave instead of overtime pay or vice versa. Employees can decide when to take compensatory leave for overtime, and submit the proposal to their employers for approval, instead of employers making the decision for their employees regarding when to take their compensatory leave.

In case employers cannot agree on the proposed time of leave, they should pay for the overtime according to Article 24 of the Labor Standards Act, the MOL said.

But the new regulations do not apply to old contracts established before March 1 in which employees and employers had agreed on only compensatory leave for overtime, the ministry added.

The ministry also said that unused annul paid leave can be deferred to the following year, and if the leave is still not totally used by the end of that year, employers should pay for the remaining unused annual leave according to the salary level of the original year of the annual leave.

For example, a worker has four days of unused annul leave in 2018, the four days can be deferred to 2019, and in case the four days are still not totally used by the end of 2019, employers should pay for the remaining unused leave according to the salary level of 2018, the ministry added.