To address the challenges of population aging and the risks of future labor shortages, Taiwan in 2019 passed an act promoting the employment of middle-aged and senior workers. Approved by the Legislature that November and promulgated by presidential decree in December, the dedicated law protects the working rights of middle-aged (ages 45 and above to 65) and senior (ages 65 and above) individuals, and helps fight the biases and stereotypes that may confront such job-seekers (including the idea that older people should live out their remaining years quietly at home). By encouraging middle-aged persons to enter the labor market and allowing seniors to contribute their expertise, the law promotes collaboration and experience sharing between generations to promote social and economic development.
Key points of the act
■ Prohibits age discrimination, ensures work stability:
The act sets out guidelines prohibiting employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of age, and requires employers to ensure equal opportunities in terms of recruitment, promotion, performance evaluation, training, remuneration and retirement. The competent authorities may grant subsidies or rewards to employers who provide on-the-job training, job redesign programs, and employment aids.
■ Helps unemployed find work, supports reemployment of retirees:
Aside from allowances, subsidies and reward incentives, the government provides unemployed middle-aged and senior workers with pre-employment training to enhance their job skills and competitiveness. Also available are job-matching services, entrepreneurial guidance, and business loan interest subsidies to help these individuals return to the workforce or start their own businesses. Flexible regulations now allow employers to hire senior workers on fixed-term contracts, and a talent database of the retired labor force will be established.
■ Promotes services for older talent, creates job opportunities:
Talent service centers for older workers have been established to provide employment and job matching services. Businesses with excellent track records of hiring middle-aged and senior workers will be publicly recognized to encourage employers to create more positions. Public employment agencies will regularly gather and analyze employment data on middle-aged and senior citizens within their jurisdictions, including the labor force situation, employment status, and labor supply and demand. The agencies will also announce job openings in various categories.