Working hours of employees in Taiwan is regulated by the Labor Standards Act (LSA). The LSA prescribes the amount of time an employee should work each week, as well as the amount of overtime an employee is permitted to work. Generally, a worker’s employment contract determines the amount of hours an employee is expected to work, however it needs to be in accordance with regulation.
Taiwan working hours
Chapter 4 of the LSA regulates the permitted working hours and rules regarding holiday periods that employers are required to abide by. As stated above, an employment contract can set out the amount of hours an employee is expected to work by a company, provided it is in accordance with local regulation. According to the LSA :
- Regular working hours of an employee may not exceed 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
- Employers may allow workers to adjust their starting and finishing times based on the needs of the business or the needs of the employee.
Taiwan Labor Law overtime
In Taiwan an employee may choose to work for more hours, however an employer is unable to force an employee to do so. An employer is able to request an employee to extend their working hours and work overtime, however this is subject to the following rules:
- the total amount of working time (regular hours and overtime) cannot exceed 12 hours a day or the total amount of overtime for an employee cannot exceed 36 hours a month.
- If an employer obtains consent from a labor union or labor-management conference, an employee can work up to a maximum of 54 hours of overtime a month.
- If an unexpected event, an accident, or an act of God occurs, which necessitates an employer to request employees to work overtime, the employer is able to do so if they notify the labor union or other competent authority within 24 hours of the extension. In such a case, the employer is required to offer an employee suitable time off.
An employee is entitled to at least 2 rest days every 7 days, 1 of the days being a flexible rest day and the other being mandatory. An employee can agree to working on a flexible rest day, but a higher overtime rate will apply. An employer cannot request an employee to work on a mandatory rest day.
Employees are required to take 30 minute breaks every 4 hours or they can take 30 minute breaks for every 4 hours worked. Employers who are on rotation are further required to have a break of at least 11 hours per shift.
Additional Considerations for businesses
According to the LSA an employer is unable to compel an employee to accept or perform work duties that extend beyond regular working hours, if the employee is unable to do so due to health reasons or any other reason that may be seen as valid.
Although the basic standards regarding working hours in Taiwan has been prescribed in legislation, companies generally provide their working hour expectations in the employment contract. The work culture of many companies in Taiwan is quite demanding and therefore has one of the longest average amount of working hours per year.
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