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Over 60% of Taiwanese favor new labor law revisions: poll

2017/11/19 14:41:31

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) More than 60 percent of people in Taiwan support the Cabinet's proposed amendments to the "one fixed day off and one flexible rest day" weekly work-hour policy, but about 30 percent oppose the proposed bill, according to a survey published Sunday by a local foundation.

The survey on the Cabinet's newly proposed amendments to the Labor Standards Act, conducted by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (台灣民意基金會), was published before a legislative committee is set to review the amendments on Monday and a public hearing on the bill scheduled for Wednesday.

One of the major revisions in the new bill is a change to the current rule that stipulates one mandatory day off and one flexible rest day per week and bars employees from working more than six consecutive days.

The new version will make it possible for employees to work 12 days in a row, by taking their "mandatory" day off per week either side of the 12-day period.

The survey shows that 16.5 percent of respondents strongly support and 44 percent moderately support the new bill, while 17.3 percent somewhat disapprove of the bill, 12.4 percent do not support it at all and 9.7 percent did not give a clear-cut "yes" or "no" answer.

The new bill was proposed after the current five day workweek rule attracted widespread opposition across the country after it came into effect at the beginning of this year, foundation chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said during an event presenting the survey results.

The new bill is supported by more than 60 percent of local people, the highest level of support for any policy since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, according to You.

In terms of revisions, 55 percent of respondents support conditionally easing a rule that bars employees from working more than six consecutive days, but 33 percent oppose it, You said citing the survey.

It also reveals that 59 percent are in favor of increasing the maximum number of overtime hours allowed per month from 46 to 54, with a cap of 138 hours over three months, while 30 percent opposed the revision.

Meanwhile, 60 percent support an amendment that proposes calculating overtime based on actual hours worked instead of the current system which entitles workers to four-hours of overtime pay for any amount of overtime under four hours and to eight-hours of pay for between four and eight hours of work, while 33 percent oppose it, the poll shows.

The poll, conducted between Nov. 13-15, targeted people aged 20 and above, with 1,074 valid samples collected. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points and a confidence rate of 95 percent.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao)