Gender News in Taiwan
Lawmakers Order Day Care at Firms with over 100 on Payroll
【By Enru Lin】

The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed amendments requiring companies with over 100 employees to provide childcare facilities and nursing rooms.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang hailed the amendments as a major breakthrough that would ease the cost of childrearing for 56 percent of salaried employees.

Freshly approved changes to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment require a company with over 100 employees to provide rooms for nursing, as well as childcare facilities or off-site childcare programs.

The workplace gender equality act had previously ordered employer-provided childcare at companies with over 250 employees.

Wang said the adjusted threshold would allow an additional 1.24 million employees to benefit from employer-provided childcare, for a total of 3.68 million employees accounting for 56.47 percent of all salaried employees.

Lawmakers are scheduled to review the status of the law's implementation after one year.

Support for Implementation

Wang said that the central government would subsidize expenses for the nursing rooms and other childcare measures, so that the amended law would not become a "one-sided burden on employers."

Also yesterday, the Legislative Yuan approved a resolution asking the Ministry of Labor to work with local governments in helping companies sign contracts with childcare providers or to build their own facilities.

To date, about 85 percent of companies with over 250 employees have set up nursing facilities for staff as prescribed by the pre-amended Act of Gender Equality in Employment, the Ministry of Labor said.

About 81.5 percent of companies of the same size have established day care centers, according to latest government data.

Nursing Breaks

Another amendment passed yesterday called on employers to provide a 60-minute break to mothers with nursing children under 2 years old, plus an additional 30 minutes for every hour of overtime.

Wang said that the changes to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment were aimed at creating more child-friendly workplaces and to lift the country's chronically low birthrate.

Paid Court Holidays for Defendants

Also yesterday, the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment requiring employers to grant paid holiday to workers who are called to appear in court as defendants in workplace sexual harassment cases.

Employers who do not provide paid leave as required by law are punishable with a fine between NT$20,000 and NT$300,000, according to the revision to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment.

[The China Post, 2016-05-04]
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