44% of people have negative view of new labor law: poll

Taipei--About 44 percent of people in Taiwan believe the amended Labor Standards Act which introduces a five-day work week with one mandatory day off and one flexible day off will have a predominantly negative impact on the economy, according to the results of a recent survey.

While 46.2 percent of respondents thought the amendment, which came into effect in December, would not have a major economic impact, 44 percent thought it would adversely impact the economy, compared with 9.8 percent who had the opposite view, according to the survey on national economic confidence released by Cathay Financial Holdings.

The poll also found that more than 60 percent of those asked thought the implementation of the "one fixed day off, one flexible day" system would not change the monthly regular earnings of employees, while 23.6 percent thought it could result in a drop in monthly regular earnings, compared with 8.8 percent who believed it might lead to an increase.

Cathay Financial Holdings said on Monday that Taiwan's economy flashed a "green light" in December, signaling stable growth for the sixth consecutive month, while the manufacturing composite indicator, the leading and coincident economic indicators for the month all rose.

In January, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics raised its estimate of national GDP growth to 1.4 percent for the whole of last year, the financial holdings company said, adding that these factors point to stable economic growth.

The poll also found that people were more optimistic about the economy and future economic prospects in February than in January, signaling improved confidence in the economy.

Meanwhile, public optimism on employment, future employment prospects, current salary levels and the outlook for salary levels is also on the rise, according to the survey.

However, due to weak consumer demand for durable goods, the report said future economic growth might hinge on foreign demand rather than domestic consumption.

An index gauging public optimism about Taiwan's stock market over the next six months also hit a six-month high in February, according to the poll.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel