Legislative committee passes draft amendment for 5-day workweek

A draft amendment mandating a controversial five-day workweek made it through the first step of the legislative process on Wednesday. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pushed the amendment through despite protest from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

The legislative committee passed the draft in just 60 seconds, without allowing for any discussion. This means it will be sent to inter-party negotiations before being reviewed by the full legislature.

The amendment would guarantee two days off per week for employees. One of the two days would be compulsory, while the other would be flexible. That means workers who work overtime on the flexible day would get paid high overtime wages, while those working on the compulsory day would get an extra day off.

The DPP says it will try to pass the amendment by the end of this year. The amendment also includes cutting the number of public holidays to 12 days a year from a recent change to 19 days, which was a DPP promise when taking office. The DPP cutting the number of public holidays will compensate for a shorter workweek, but labor groups protested the change at the legislature.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said President Tsai Ing-wen wants to get rid of the unnecessary confusion caused by an inconsistent policy toward national holidays. The administration is hoping to clarify the laws and make them applicable to every person in the nation.

Source: Radio Taiwan International