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Implementation of regulations on working hours

On 23 June 2016 the ECCT's Human Resources committee hosted a lunch on the topic "Implementation of regulations on working hours - Practical advice for companies on how to demonstrate compliance" with guest speaker Dr Tzou Tzu-lien, Director of the Taipei Labour Inspection Office. The speaker gave an introduction to the Taipei Labor Inspection Office and its officers and an overview of how officials are conducting inspections in compliance with amendments to the Labour Standards Law, which took effect on 1 January 2016, and restrict employees to work for a maximum of eight hours a day or 40 hours per week.

Since the law came into effect many employers have struggled to demonstrate compliance in terms of keeping and maintaining attendance records, accurate to the minute, for five years. It has been particularly difficult for companies that do not request employees to punch in and out or record their working hours. Moreover, even companies that have complied with the law have been subject to fines from labour inspectors for not providing the correct paperwork.

Dr Tzou stressed the importance of keeping and providing working hour records for inspections. From the perspective of his office, attendance records are important to determine whether employees are in danger of overwork, whether there have been any disruptions to regular hours, whether employees are being granted national holidays, ordinary leave and special leave and whether employees are properly compensated (according to Article 24 of the Labour Standards Law) for working overtime.

He noted that if companies have questions on the inspection results, they have the right to appeal.
After Tzou's introduction there was a lengthy Q&A session. Members raised questions about how to record and verify whether employees are actually working overtime.
An additional concern was regarding the recording of working hours for senior managers. Members of the audience made the point that senior employees with positions or salaries over a certain threshold should not be subject to the same conditions as junior employees. Committee co-chairs have decided to make a recommendation in this regard in the HR committee's next position paper.

On a question as to how companies record working hours, Tzou replied that his office is quite flexible as to the method of recording working hours, as long as companies provide the data in accessible form.

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