Young to be paid standard national salary

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Labor Ministry announced its decision to amend regulations regarding young workers’ salaries and workers’ rights in the Labor Standards Act (勞基法) yesterday. Workers aged 15 will be eligible for standard hourly wages of NT$120, or monthly wages at NT$28,000, should the amendments be passed.

The original regulation stipulating that young workers’ salaries should not be less than 70 percent of the legal standard wage will be removed.

Junior high school students heading to high school often use the time after graduation to take part-time jobs. As wages have been given according to a worker’s age under the current law, the Labor Ministry explained that young workers are likely given the same workload as standard workers. “Only giving 70 percent of the legal standard wage is not a fair method,” the ministry said. Workers’ national holidays have been slashed to 12 days from the original 19 days as well.

Among the amendments to the Labor Standards Act is the addition of a “Formosa Water Park Explosions Clause.” The clause will define “natural disasters, incidents and sudden occurrences” so employers can ask employees to return to work from their breaks under certain circumstances, or to increase working hours.