Ministry of Labor calls for unpaid leave for employees taking vaccine

File photo of the Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun. (Photo courtesy of NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) on Thursday called on the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) to implement new regulations that would allow companies to grant unpaid leaves for vaccination.

To tie in with recent pandemic-prevention policies, the Ministry of Labor (MOL, 勞動部) suggested that employers don’t have to give “paid leaves” but should not write employees off as absentees or ask them to take personal or special leaves in order to get their shot.

Hsu argued that it should not be up to employers and employees to address the question of a “vaccine leave” given that vaccination is part of the government’s pandemic-prevention policy.

She also pointed out that employees who take leave should not be adversely treated by employers, such as receiving deductions of year-end bonuses. Therefore, it’s imperative that regulations be set in place as soon as possible to ensure both parties’ rights, Hsu said.

In addition, the MOL advised that those who received the vaccine should take two days off, mainly the day they received the vaccine and the day after.

If the recipients still feel unwell afterward, they may ask for additional days of leave based on their original vaccination record, Hsu suggested.

As there are also variations with different types of vaccines, the MOL also advised that if two doses of vaccines are required, two days of vaccination leave can be given for each dose, meaning employers should provide up to four days of leave.