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Taiwan's Lunar New Year leave and pay requirements explained

Taiwan's labor ministry reminds employers to pay staff according to law

(Canva image)

(Canva image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s labor ministry has reminded employers to pay staff according to the law as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches.

Taiwan’s Lunar New Year holiday runs between Feb. 8-14 and is made up of three different types of holidays, which the law defines as national holidays, regular holidays (not to be confused with annual leave), and rest days. Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) of the labor ministry said on Friday (Jan. 26) that each type requires employers to pay different overtime rates to staff, per CNA.

Assuming an employee works Monday to Friday and is given one rest day and one regular holiday on Saturday and Sunday, the pay requirements are as follows: If employees are required to work on rest days, the law states overtime pay is 1.33 times the regular wage for the first two hours, and 1.66 times the regular wage for hours over that.

Feb. 9, 12, 13, and 14 are national holidays during the Lunar New Year period, and employees who are required to work on these days are entitled to double pay. Feb. 11 is technically treated as a regular holiday, though employees are also entitled to double pay, plus an additional day's leave if required to work.

Those who do not have a set roster or perform shift work are entitled to double their normal hourly rate if they work between Feb. 9-12, per Storm Media. If the employee's rest day or regular holiday falls within this period, the employee is entitled to additional time off.

However, if both parties agree, the employee may take the national holiday leave time off on days that are normally work days. In this case, the employer does not have to pay double the wage.

If employers fail to pay staff wages according to the law, they can face fines of between NT$20,000 and NT$1 million (about NT$640 to NT$32,000). If employees encounter such a situation they can contact the Ministry of Labor, the Taiwan Labor Front, or the Legal Aid Foundation for assistance.