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FFA survey on family friendly workplaces


The ECCT released the 2023 Family Friendly Workplace Survey Report. An initiative of the chamber’s Family Friendly Alliance (FFA), the report provides the results of a survey of 1,263 employees and 65 employers in Taiwan conducted in 2022 by Adecco Taiwan in cooperation with the ECCT. At the launch of the survey report, a summary of the main findings of the report was presented by Amy Hsin, Senior Director of the Staffing Division at Adecco Taiwan while a presentation was also given by Shih Keh-her, Deputy Minister of the National Development Council (NDC).

The purpose of the survey was to gain an understanding of the level of family friendliness of the workplace environment in Taiwan. Among the main findings of the survey were that reversing Taiwan’s low birth rate and population decline will require concerted efforts to address concerns about work-life conflicts, financial security and day care.

Taiwan’s population is shrinking and the total fertility rate of 1.08 per woman is one of the world’s lowest. This is expected to lead to a chronic labour and talent shortage in the near future. While the government has rolled out a number of policy measures, such as expanding public childcare services, providing childcare subsidies, subsidised IVF treatment and childcare support for children under the age of six, so far, they have failed to reverse the trend.

The survey posed 23 questions to employees and 15 questions for employers. Most of the respondents were full time employees. Over 40% work in the healthcare industry, around a quarter in industry/manufacturing, around in service/tourism and about 6% in IT.

Based on the results, the report lists some of the work-life conflicts commonly faced by employees and their needs and expectations for support. It also sets out challenges faced by employers and explores possible solutions.

Respondents agreed that there is a clear link between childcare subsidies, allowances and paid parental leave offered by companies and their willingness to have children. In addition, having flexible working hours and being able to work remotely were considered extremely helpful for workers who wished to balance work and family life.

On the question as to the most important factors when making job decisions, employees ranked work-family balance as the third most important factor after salary (1st) and job stability (2nd). On the question as to the major challenges in maintaining work and family balance, the most significant challenges facing employees were 1) concerns about performance review results and chances for gaining a promotion when taking family leave (cited by 39.89% of respondents); 2) difficulty in finding a job opportunity where both job requirements and family demands can be met (cited by 39.36% of respondents) and 3) long working hours and little private time (37.65% of respondents). Most respondents reported difficulty striking a balance between work and family life.

With regards to childcare, more than 70% of employees indicated that they rely on day care facilities or support from relatives while 60% chose to sacrifice some working hours or switch to a part-time job in order to have more time and energy to take care of their children.

Moreover, the most common stress reported by participants with children was “having no time and energy to take care of children due to long working hours”, followed by “worries about the quality of infant and childcare centres”.

In addition, 83% of the respondents who needed to take care of elderly relatives required assistance from their family. Over 80% of their care expenses were spent on medical care.

As to the reasons for a decline in the fertility rate, the top reason cited by respondents was 1) because they want a quality personal life (cited by 64.46% of respondents), followed by 2) the desire to save money to buy a home or pay a mortgage (63.37%); 3) unstable financial capability (57.23%); 4) do not have a partner yet (49.5%); 5) have difficulty arranging childcare with no support from family members (41.88%) and 6) live in an unfavourable social environment (38.12%, due to pollution, bad education system and high competitiveness).

When making a childbearing decision, having favourable financial capability is considered the most important factor, followed by 2) having the right partner; 3) having good physical and mental health; 4) able to provide a good environment for children and 5) having time to spend with children.

50% of the respondents rated their satisfaction with their company's overall family friendly policy as average, while approximately 38% considered themselves satisfied or very satisfied, indicating that there is still significant room for improvement in the current corporate policies and that businesses can play a key role in addressing work-life conflicts by creating more family-friendly, diverse and inclusive workplaces. At present, the family friendly policies most businesses offer are flexible working hours and remote/hybrid work. Many companies also offer subsidies such as marriage and maternity allowances (offered by around 50% of respondents’ companies) and parental leave above the statutory requirement (offered by 43.56% of respondents’ companies).

The report also contains chapters by members of the ECCT’s FFA in which they share information and best practices on how they are improving the family friendliness of their workplaces in Taiwan. These include providing flexible working arrangements, higher than the statutory requirements for parental leave, childcare support and promoting the government’s support policies for fertility treatment and child support.

Hsin ended her presentation with the following conclusions: 1) there is a connection between government policies and practical implementation by companies; 2) flexible work arrangements and better childcare services could help to increase birth rates; 3) Preventive measures are vital for healthy ageing and 4) Action will need to be taken to support sustainable population, sustainable talent and sustainable businesses.

In his presentation, Deputy NDC Minister Shih said that he and his colleagues had already reviewed the results of the survey and would use them as a reference in their policy planning process. He noted that he had already listed a number of government policies when he gave a presentation at the FFA summit on 14 March. He noted that the government’s budget for policies to boost the birth rate as well as support aged care had risen ten-fold over the past decade.

However, he acknowledged that there is still a lot more that the government could do. In particular, he said that the shortage of affordable and quality childcare was a major factor discouraging young people from having children. Although the government has been working to increase the affordability and availability of childcare facilities since 2016, not enough progress has been made. He added that creating childcare facilities not only benefits parents of children but also provides jobs. In addition to government-funded childcare, the fact that very few companies provide childcare facilities shows that the private sector could also do more.

On the subject of labour regulations, Shih acknowledged that regulations have not yet caught up with changes in the labour market and that more reforms could help address the challenges. 

For the full survey report, please refer to this link.

For the Deputy Minister Shih's slides, please refer to 1120518_NDC slides.