Premier calls for more communication on labor legislation

  • Date: 2016-06-30
  • Source: Office of Information Services, Executive Yuan

The  Executive  Yuan  Council  (Cabinet)  today  approved  the  Ministry  of  Labor’s  (MOL)  draft  amendment  to  the  Labor  Standards  Act,  which  will  be  sent  to  the  Legislature  for  review.  Premier  Lin  Chuan  expressed  hope  that  communication  between  labor  and  management  will  facilitate  solutions  to  the  complex  issues  involved.

Labor  and  management  harbor  great  differences  of  opinion,  and  hopefully  dialogue  will  help  the  two  sides  better  understand  each  other’s  perspectives  so  that  relevant  problems  can  be  resolved,  Lin  said.  Cautioning  that  any  misunderstanding  during  this  communication  process  would  do  great  harm  to  relevant  policy  promotion,  the  premier  enjoined  various  ministries  to  scrupulously  communicate  with  the  public  and  to  empathetically  explain  why  the  administration’s  policy  will  help  reduce  social  confrontations.

The  previous  amendment  to  the  act  left  many  problems  to  be  addressed,  resulting  in  unceasing  disputes  and  necessitating  another  revision,  the  premier  pointed  out.  He  indicated  that  if  the  MOL’s  proposed  amendment  cannot  be  ratified,  market  uncertainty  will  increase  and  the  investment  environment  will  be  harmed.

The  Ministry  of  Economic  Affairs  (MOEA)  stated  that  it  will  proactively  communicate  with  the  industrial  and  commercial  sectors  to  understand  their  thinking.  Noting  that  the  pursuit  of  sustainable  operations  is  a  shared  goal  of  labor  and  management,  the  ministry  expressed  hope  that  the  two  sides  can  reach  consensus.

Industrial  and  commercial  groups  have  stated  that  despite  the  difficulty  of  running  an  enterprise,  they  value  and  acknowledge  the  needs,  rights  and  interests  of  workers  and  hope  labor  and  management  can  arrive  at  a  consensus,  the  MOEA  reported.  In  addition,  industrial  and  commercial  groups  have  said  they  hope  to  see  comprehensive  revision  of  the  act  rather  than  article-by-article  adjustments  that  would  lose  the  original  spirit  of  the  legislation.

On  January  1,  2016,  an  amendment  to  Article  30  of  the  act  reduced  daily  and  weekly  working  hours  to  eight  and  40,  respectively.  Although  that  revision  was  expected  to  guarantee  workers  two  days  off  per  week,  some  enterprises  have  yet  to  thoroughly  implement  such  a  policy,  the  MOL  stated.  Hence,  the  present  draft  amendment  has  been  formulated  to  achieve  the  legislative  objective  of  two  rest  days  per  week.