Taipei: A bill has been proposed to allow laborers to take paid leave for five days when they have to take care of their family members, a lawmaker from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) said Saturday.
Wan Mei ling (???) said she has initiated an amendment to the current Act of Gender Equality in Employment to entitle employees in non government agencies to the same treatment as civil servants who are now paid for five days during so called family care leave.
According to Article 20 of the Act, employees can request family care leave to take personal care of family members who need inoculations or have become seriously ill, or to handle other major events.
The act also stipulates in the same article that the number of family care leave days will not exceed seven days in one year, while wages during family care leave will be computed based on the related statutes and administrative regulations governing leave for personal reasons.
Wan said civil servants are entitled to pay for five days during the seven day leave period to take care of their family members, but workers employed by non government agencies do not receive compensation for family care leave.
The KMT lawmaker accused the disparity as a "one county, two systems" mechanism that is not fair to workers.
Such disputes arose when the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), which is leading the county in the battle against the spread of the COVID 19 coronavirus, announced on Feb. 2 that the reopening of schools in Taiwan at the high school level and lower following the winter break had been postponed by two weeks to Feb. 25.
Family members during the two week period who were hired by non government agencies and had to take care of their children under the age of 12 largely received no pay, but their counterparts working for the government were paid for five days.
Only some major enterprises such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. paid their employees half of their salaries for their family care leave.
Wan said that at a time when Taiwan is trying to contain the spread of COVID 19, the paid leave for parents has become a critical issue.
Meanwhile, Wan cited a survey conducted by the Child Welfare League Foundation in 2014 as saying that 63 percent of the polled parents thought the seven day leave stipulated by the Act to take care of their kids was not enough.
Therefore, in addition to the pay issue for workers, Wan said she has also proposed a revision to the Act to extend the family care leave to 10 days.
Lee De wei (???) and Wen Yu hsia (???), also KMT lawmakers, have proposed their own amendment to the Act to allow workers to receive pay for three days during the family care leave.
The amendment by Lee and Wen also broadens the caregiving coverage to family members who suffer dementia and who cannot take care of themselves due to injuries or illness.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel