Taiwan raises fines for gender discrimination in the workplace


TAIPEI — The Legislative Yuan passed a law amendment Friday to triple the fines for discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

Under the revised Act of Gender Equality in Employment, employers who discriminate against job applicants or employees based on gender or sexual orientation may now be subject to a fine of between NT$300,000 (US$9,702) and NT$1.5 million.

Prior to the amendment, the penalty was between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.

A survey conducted last year by the Ministry of Labor on 3,283 companies around Taiwan found that 9 percent of employers tend to pay their workers differently based on gender.

Another 4.7 percent consider gender a factor in deciding on pay raises, the poll found.

Women’s rights activist Tsai Wan-fen said gender stereotyping remains a serious problem among Taiwanese employers and that increasing the related penalties will help prevent discriminatory practices.

She also urged the government to provide friendlier channels for victims to file complaints, so that they would be encouraged to fight for their rights.

Ministry Warns Employers of Penalty for Denying Maternity Leave Employers who refuse workers’ requests for menstrual or maternity leave may be subject to a maximum fine of NT$300,000 (US$9,702), the Ministry of Labor warned Friday.

The names of the offenders may also be made public, the ministry said, advising workers to call its complaint hotline 0800-085-151 to report any related violations.

The ministry made the statements after the Legislative Yuan earlier in the day passed amendments to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, which stipulate, among other new regulations, that female workers are allowed five paid leave days for prenatal health checks.

The amendments also allow female workers to take three days of menstrual leave with half pay, which is a change from the previous no-pay rule.

Male workers, meanwhile, are now eligible to a maximum five days paid leave, instead of just three, at the time of their children’s birth, according to the new regulations.