Taiwan’s government was busy at the end of 2018, enacting several new pieces of employment legislation and amending some others. Here is a summary of the relevant new developments for employers.
Labor Dispute Act
This new piece of legislation aims to strengthen employee rights when disputes arise. Previously, disputes that reached the courts after failed mediation were often costly and time-consuming because the courts required both parties to put forth their arguments and evidence again. Under the new rules, a judge will oversee the mediation process and on transfer to the courts, the case will be considered a continuation of the mediation process rather than tried as a brand new case. This should reduce litigation costs and time for both employees and employers and lower the barrier for employees to seek recourse through the court system. It may also encourage employers to settle more quickly and avoid litigation altogether.
Minimum Wage, Pension, and Labor Insurance
Beginning on January 1, 2019, Taiwan’s minimum wage is now TWD23,100 per month (which is approximately USD $750) or TWD150 per hour (USD $4.80). Pension contributions have risen to 9 percent from 8.5 percent. Labor Insurance contributions have risen to 11 percent from 10.5 percent and occupational injury insurance contributions have risen to 0.21 percent.
In changes made to the Employment Services Act, any job listing with a monthly salary of less than TWD40,000 (which is approximately USD $1,295) must display the salary offered. Previously, it was customary for employers to list salary as “negotiable” or “on application.” Employers that don’t meet this requirement can be fined TWD60,000–TWD300,000 (which is approximately USD $1,940–$9,715). The government hopes this new rule will offer greater transparency in the job market and create a level playing field for employees.
Overall, recent changes to Taiwan’s employment laws are a positive development for employees. Anyone employing workers in Taiwan may want to make sure that their HR personnel are aware of the changes and avoid any fines or other penalties.
Written by Christine Chen of Winkler Partners and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins
© 2019 Winkler Partners and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C.