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The 2018 Amendments to the Labor Standards Act That You Need to Know

Legislative Yuan passed the amendments to the Labor Standards Act in part after the third reading on January 10, 2018. The amendments shall be enforced as of March 1. The focus thereof includes work for one hour and pay for one hour for overtime work on days off, relaxation of the upper limit on extended working hours, time span of work in shifts, relaxation of regular leave adjustment conditions, addition of compensatory leave for overtime work, and addition of deferment of special leave.
   
The business entities shall note the new amendments lest they violate the laws. The workers shall also verify the intent of the laws to protect their personal interests and rights. The amendments are detailed as follows:
 

  • Work for one hour and pay for one hour for overtime work on days off
Upon the amendment to the overtime work hours on days off, the “imputed working hours” for overtime work on days off (namely, work for one hour and pay for four hours, work for five hours and pay for eight hours, and work for nine hours and pay for twelve hours) are deleted, and the “work for one hour and pay for one hour” and “work for two hours and pay for two hours”, and so on, shall be adopted instead. Meanwhile, the working hours on days off shall still be included into the upper limit of monthly overtime work hours.
 
  • Relaxation of the upper limit on extended working hours
The monthly overtime work hours shall be no more than 46 hours. Upon the amendments, the exceptional circumstance is added, namely, “with the consent of a labor union, or if there is no labor union in a business entity, with the approval of a labor-management conference”, both parties may agree to relax the extended working hours, provided that the extended working hours shall be no more than 54 hours per month and 138 hours per three months. Further, when an employer having more than thirty employees extends the working hours per said circumstances, he/she shall “report it to the local competent authority for record”.
 
  •  Time span of work in shifts
The time span of work in shifts shall be no less than 11 hours. Upon the amendments, the exceptional circumstance is added, namely, due to the “characteristics of work” or “special causes”, a rest period of at least eight continuous hours “shall be granted after the Central Regulatory Authority with jurisdiction over the business (or industries) has reviewed with the Central Competent Authority,” and with “the consent of a labor union, or if there is no labor union existing in a business entity, with the approval of a labor-management conference.” When an employer having more than thirty employees grants a rest period of at least eight continuous hours per said circumstance, he/she shall “report it to the local competent authority for record”.
 
  • Relaxation of regular leave adjustment conditions
In principle, each worker shall be granted one day as regular leave and one day as a day off per seven working days, and no worker may be forced to work for more than six days consecutively. Upon the amendments, the exceptional circumstance is added, namely, an employer may adjust the regular leave every seven days with “the consent of the Central Regulatory Authority with jurisdiction over the business (or industries) designated by the Central Competent Authority” and with “the consent of a labor union, or if there is no labor union existing in a business entity, with the approval of a labor-management conference”. When an employer having more than thirty employees makes the adjustment per said circumstance, he/she shall “report it to the local competent authority for record”.
 
  • Addition of compensatory leave for overtime work
For overtime work hours on weekdays and days off, the employer shall calculate the hours of compensatory leave based on the hours of work performed by the worker, as the worker chooses to take compensatory leave with the consent of the employer. The period of the compensatory leave shall be agreed on by the employer and the worker. Should the compensatory leave not be taken by the worker upon expiration of the compensatory leave or termination of the contract, wages shall be paid by the employer at the rate applicable to the day when the working hours are extended or “the day” off when the worker performs work.
 
  • Addition of deferment of special leave
For unused annual paid leave deferred until the following year according to the agreement reached by the employer and worker, if any, wages must be paid by the employer at the rate applicable “at the end of the original annual paid leave” for that not used by workers at the end of the following year or upon termination of the contract.

The Labor Standards Act provides the minimum labor terms and conditions, and the agreement between employers and workers superior than the Act, if any, shall apply. The business entity shall take the workers’ physical and mental health as the first priority and arrange the working hours in a manner preventing overwork.

In order to provide the information about the amendments to laws, the Bureau has set up the “Amendments to the Labor Standards Act” section on its official website. Employers and workers may access the site for more details. Meanwhile, the amendments to laws provide that such issues as extension of the limit of working hours, time span of work in shifts and relaxation of regular leave adjustment to be implemented by a business entity should only be implemented upon consent of its labor union or labor-management conference. Therefore, the Bureau suggests that the business entity should focus on the establishment, preparation and operation of the labor-management conference. In this regard, the Bureau has set up the “Labor-Management Conference section” on its official website, which makes available to business entities the name list of business entities which have reported the roster of representatives attending the labor-management conference to the Bureau pursuant to laws in the most recent two years, as well as the self-inspection form, related forms and normal Q&A about the labor-management conference, in order to help the business entities organize their labor-management conferences pursuant to laws.