Civic groups rally to demand paid family leave for workers

Taipei, March 7 (CNA) Members of 22 civic groups gathered outside the Ministry of Labor (MOL) building in Taipei on Monday to demand that workers be given the same treatment as civil servants who are entitled to remuneration when they take time off to care for family members. .

Currently, civil servants receive compensation if they take family care leave, unlike workers employed by non-governmental agencies, Awakening Foundation secretary general Chyn Yu-rung (覃玉蓉) explained.

For more than a decade, civic groups have demanded equal treatment for private sector workers, but the government has always been reluctant to address the issue, Chyn said.

When the Democratic Progressive Party was the main opposition party in Taiwan, it proposed that the same standard be applied to all private and public workers, but the party has been in power for six years and so far nothing didn’t happen, Taipei Confederation of Commerce Union President Chiu I-kan (邱奕淦) said.

The government must amend the provisions of the Gender Equality in Employment Act, Chiu said.

According to section 20 of the law, employees can apply for family care leave to personally care for family members who need vaccinations or who have become seriously ill, or to manage other major events.

The law also stipulates in the same article that the number of days of family care leave shall not exceed seven days per year, while the salary during family care leave shall be calculated on the basis of related laws and administrative regulations governing leave. for personal convenience.

The general secretary of the Taiwan Family Caregivers Association, Chen Ching-ning (陳景寧), urged the government to make the change.

The 22 civic groups participating in the rally also called for the seven days of annual family leave to be increased to 14 days and for workers to have more flexibility in applying for family leave.

Paid family leave, if applied to the private sector, would place a heavy burden on employers, Director of Labor Standards and Employment Equality Department of the Labor Ministry Huang Wei-chen said on Monday. (黃維琛) in response to the press.

According to 2020 data from the General Directorate of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, companies would have to spend about NT$10.3 billion a year if private sector workers each took a day off for family care, a report said. Huang said.

Taiwan has many medium, small and micro enterprises, and the impact of paid family leave would be huge, he said, indicating that a consensus would need to be reached for it to be implemented.

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