Taipei-Several enterprises in Taiwan's private sector, most notably in the service industry, are giving pay raises this year in response to a government initiative to increase salaries, and also to retain talent, boost productivity and provide an economic stimulus.
In the service sector, which accounts for more than 60 percent of Taiwan's workforce, there are various efforts to increase the average monthly pay of NT$30,000 (US$1,017) to retain high performing employees and improve productivity.
Some restaurants and eateries have been among the first to respond to the government's call for pay increases in the private sector.
Starting Jan. 1, fast food chain MOS Burger implemented an average pay hike of 4.2 percent for its employees, which included a 5.3 percent increase for part-time workers to NT$140 per hour.
MOS Burger, which has 258 restaurants and about 5,400 employees in Taiwan, will also offer a childbirth subsidy of NT$3,000 per month for up to one year to female employees who return to work after maternity leave.
The subsidy not only supports the government's pay raise initiative but also the country's efforts to improve its low birthrate, MOS Burger said.
Another restaurant chain, Wowprime Corp., is offering a 5-10 percent monthly salary increase, and raising its hourly rate from NT$158 to NT$195 for part-time workers, also with effect from January.
In addition, Wowprime will give its employees paid leave benefits and will launch employment recruitment programs.
Meanwhile, McDonald's Taiwan and 85C Bakery Cafe have hiked wages for their counter attendants by 3 percent to 5.26 percent, starting Jan. 1.
In other sectors, Shopee and Garena, two affiliates of the Singaporean online gaming and e-commerce company Sea, have said they will raise their entry-level pay in Taiwan to over NT$30,000 and give all employees a 5 percent wage increase after the Chinese New Year, which falls in February this year.
Yung-Ching Realty Group has also announced an average salary hike of 5 percent starting March, with high performing employees likely to get increases of up to 11 percent.
In the semiconductor industry, Morris Chang (???), chairman of the world's largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), said that his company usually gives a salary hike every year, ranging from 3-5 percent, and will do the same this year, beginning in April.
Liu Chitung (???), chief financial officer of another major contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), also said his company will maintain its policy of increasing salaries in May each year.
The airline industry is also stepping up, with Taiwan's two leading carriers, China Airlines and EVA Airways, promising to increase salaries this year.
The government finalized a plan in September 2017 to give a 3 percent salary raise to government employees, public-school teachers and military personnel starting 2018, and expressed the hope that employers in the private sector would follow suit, as part of an effort to stimulate the economy.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel