Taiwan has introduced more flexible working hours, but what is the impact on HR and payroll teams and their established processes?
Taiwan has long maintained rigid labour laws, originally introduced to protect against exploitation of staff in labour intensive manufacturing industries. Some of the regulations relating to working hours have not kept up with the evolution of Taiwan's economy, as it has moved towards knowledge-based and technological industries. The new changes, introduced by the Ministry of Labour on 23 May 2019, provide more flexibility to senior managers who do not fit into the pattern of standard working hours. This is good news for American and European companies, who have been advocating these changes for many years.
Who is affected?
The changes are aimed at providing flexibility to highly paid managers who often need more flexibility in their work pattern, particularly those needing to work longer than the standard prescribed hours. All employees earning TWD 150,000 or more per month and with supervisory and managerial roles are now brought under Article 84-1 of the Labour Standards Act.
What flexibility does Article 84-1 allow?
Managers that qualify are able to have flexibility from Labour Standard Act Articles 30, 32, 36, 37 and 49, so they don't need to follow the usual, strict rule of:
- eight working hours per day
- 40 working hours per week.
Up to 12 hours per day can be worked and qualified female managers are now allowed to work between 10pm and 6am.
It's important to note that employers cannot impose these changes on their qualified managers, any changes must be agreed by both the employer and employee, documented and signed by both parties. The changes also need the consent of a local labour authority.
How should HR teams respond to the changes?
HR teams need to discuss the potential changes with all qualifying senior managers. If they wish to change their working hours then HR must agree to any additional compensation, and prepare an agreement of authorisation to be signed. The agreement must then be sent to the local labour office for their approval. Only once approved can the employees commence their agreed working arrangements. The payroll team also needs to confirm that their systems can correctly implement the changed arrangements.
Talk to us
It can be both time-consuming and complex for foreign companies to comply with the strict labour laws in Taiwan. If your company needs help in applying the new flexible working practices, TMF Taiwan has a team of HR and payroll experts to assist you. Need more information? Contact us today.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.