Friday, January 30, 2015

Inspections set to crack down on holiday overwork

Inspections set to crack down on holiday overwork

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Cheng Li-chun expresses her concerns over overworked workers in five business sectors at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Occupational safety inspections during the Lunar New Year holiday are to be redoubled to reduce overwork, while businesses that violate the Labor Standards Act (勞基法) face a fine of up to NT$300,000, the Ministry of Labor said yesterday.
The law stipulates that workers must be given a four-day break from Feb. 18 to 21, and that employers cannot require employees to work on these days without their consent, while additional pay and overtime pay must be offered, Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment officer Li Ssu-hsien (李思嫻) said, adding that violations are punishable by a fine of between NT$20,000 and NT$300,000, with the violators’ names to be made public.
Workers that are mostly likely to be overworked are those in the public transport sector, logistics and delivery sector, retail sector, catering business sector and entertainment sector, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) said at a press conference convened by labor rights groups yesterday.
Taiwan Labor Front secretary-general Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) said the ministry must ensure that labor insurance, workplace safety training and holiday and overtime pay are extended to temporary workers employed during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Public transport sector employees work an average of 198 hours per month, and the figure is expected to increase during the Lunar New Year holiday, so stringent labor inspections must be carried out in the industry, Taiwan Labor and Social Policy Research Association executive director Chang Feng-yi (張烽益) said.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration senior specialist Li Po-hung (李柏宏) said that a series of inspections is scheduled from tomorrow until Feb. 23.
Having subsidized the local governments to conduct occupational safety inspections since last year, the ministry is to deploy an additional 325 staff members this year to help reinforce inspections over the five sectors in which workers are vulnerable to overwork, he added.

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