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Taiwan considers limiting ‘make-up’ working days to 3 per year

Complaints have grown louder as 2023 counts 6 'make-up' days

The government plans to limit the number of make-up work and school days per year. 

The government plans to limit the number of make-up work and school days per year.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government will consider limiting the Taiwanese practice of having people go to work or class to “make up” for extra holidays off to three days per year, reports said Wednesday (March 1).

Because 2023 has six such days listed, the government has received more complaints than usual from the public. As a result, the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration (DGPA) will decide on a new formula by the end of May, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. One of the possible choices would be to keep the number of make-up days to a maximum of three per year, even though if the current formula is maintained, the number will once again reach six in 2030, per CNA.

DGPA Minister Su Chun-jung (蘇俊榮) told RTI he wanted to find a balance between people complaining about the extra work and school days, and those looking for more flexible time off. He said the government might just choose to apply the formula to two or three important festivals a year, such as the Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The DGPA will invite other government departments, including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs to discuss the possibilities and submit them to the full Cabinet for a decision by the end of May, Su said.

While three of this year’s make-up days have already passed, March 25, June 17, and Sept. 23 are still yet to come. Experts have criticized the practice, saying it had a negative impact on children’s learning and on family dynamics, while others have questioned why an extra holiday should be neutralized by having an extra day of work on a Saturday in the first place.