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.