48% of workers in Taiwan will still work on typhoon day: online survey

Even though official typhoon leave has been announced, some military firefighters, medical personnel, and news media publishers will still be on duty

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Commotion during Typhoon Nesat, Yilan County, July 2017.

Commotion during Typhoon Nesat, Yilan County, July 2017. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – About 48 percent of workers in Taiwan will still go to work despite an official suspension of work and classes announced by the government due to a typhoon, according to an online survey released on July 10.

As Super Typhoon Maria is expected to make landfall on Taiwan shores on Tuesday at around 5 p.m., a series of office and school closures have been announced in preparation for the hazardous arrival of the storm.

Correspondingly, a survey conducted by 1111 online job bank found that 48 percent of workers participating in the survey still have to work due to the nature of their jobs or because of their companies' demand.

As for the industries that have the most employees working on typhoon days, military firefighters rank first with the percent of 33.17, followed by medical personnel at 29.54 percent, public transportation drivers at 24.19 percent, news media publishers at 27.89 percent, and maintenance personnel at 21.45 percent.

The general manager at the Public Affairs and Career Development Center of 1111 online Job Banks, Li Ta-hua (李大華) said that the employers cannot force workers to work on typhoon days if they decide to take leave. However, employers must pay an extra day of salary or give an additional day off to any employee who is on duty on a typhoon day.

However, the survey respondents suggest that only 30 percent of companies are willing to provide the salary for their employees that choose not to work, meanwhile 18 percent claim companies refuse to offer any salary for the typhoon leave. Additionally, 12 percent of the companies reportedly offer double salary or give extra vacation days to comfort the employees who needs to be on duty on a typhoon day.

The poll was conducted June 20-July 9 in an attempt to understand employees' working situation on typhoon days. It collected 1,046 valid questionnaires and has the confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3.03 percentage points.