The Labour law in Taiwan is regulated mainly by the Labour Standards Act of 1984 (amended as of 2020). The Act governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, rest periods, wages, overtime, leave, and termination of employment. The other regulations that govern labor relationships are the Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Act of Gender Equality in Employment (amended as of 2018), Regulations of Leave Taking of Workers (amended as of 2019).
Hours & Pay Regulations
The regular work hours may not exceed 8 hours per day nor 40 hours (exclusive of overtime) per week. With the approval of a labor union or labor-management committee, hours may be increased, provided that the total regular working time does not exceed 48 hours in any one week.
On-Call Work – When the working hours of an employee cannot be calculated because of reasons requiring the employee to attend work outside the workplace, in such cases the working hours shall be considered to be the regular working hours of such an employee.
Travel Time – When an employee works in different workplaces belonging to the same business entity or the same employer, the working hours in each of such workplaces shall be added together, including necessary transportation time between the workplaces.
Distribution of Working hour
With the prior consent of the labor union or a labor-management committee, an employer may distribute the regular working hours of any 2 workdays within 2 weeks to other workdays in a manner that the hours allocated does not exceed 2 hours per day and the total number of weekly working hours does not exceed 48 hours.
With the prior consent of the labor union, or a labor-management committee, an employer may distribute the regular working hours, every 8 weeks, in a manner that the regular working time shall not exceed 8 hours a day and the total number of working hours shall not exceed 48 hours every week.
Employers can based on the needs of employees to attend to their family members, allow employees the flexibility to adjust their starting and finishing work time of up to 1 hour of the daily regular working hours.
In the case of businesses (or industries) classified by the government authority, upon the consent of its labor union, a labor-management committee, an employer may change working hours under the following guidelines:
- The distribution of regular working hours to other workdays in 4 weeks shall not exceed 2 hours a day.
- In case, the regular workday is 10 hours in a day, the overtime work shall not exceed 2 hours for that particular day.
Female employees on night shifts, except for those who are pregnant or are in breastfeeding periods, are not subject to the restrictions of working between the time period of 10 pm to 6 am. Employers must provide necessary safety and health facilities to such employees. However, businesses (or industries) except for agriculture, forestry, fishery, and pasturage industries are still governed by this rule. Labor Standards Act (amended as of 2020) Art. 30, 35-36 and Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Art. 17 – 19.
In cases where a rotation system is adopted, employees working on shifts shall be rotated on a weekly basis except when otherwise agreed/consented to by the employee. Employees on rotation shall be granted 11 continuous hours of rest between shifts. However, due to the nature of the work or any special cause, the rest period can be reduced to 8 hours per day after being reviewed by the government authority. This change in the rest period can only be done with the consent of the labor union or with the approval of the labor-management committee. If an employer has more than 30 employees, he/she shall report it to the local competent authority for record. Labor Standards Act (amended as of 2020) Art. 34.
An employer shall maintain records of employee’s attendance on a daily basis, total sum of wages paid to the employee etc. The records shall be maintained for a period of at least 5 years.
The attendance record includes a check-in book, attendance card, card machine, access card, bio metric identification system, electronic attendance record system or other recording tools that can verify the attendance record. The employer shall record the dates of annual paid leaves of employees and the total amount of the wages paid for annual paid leaves in the employee’s payroll roster shall inform the employee in writing every year on a regular basis Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) Art. 23 and 30, Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Art. 21.
Any work performed beyond the standard working hours (8 hours per day and 40 hours per week) is considered as overtime. An employee can perform overtime in a manner that the total working hours do not exceed 12 hours in a day and total overtime hours do not exceed 46 hours in a month.
However, the 46 hours limit can be increased via an agreement with the labor union, but in no case shall exceed 54 hours in a month and 138 hours over a 3 month period.
Pay – In case, the overtime work does not exceed 2 hours, the employee shall be paid, in addition to the regular hourly wage, at least an additional 1/3rd of the regular hourly rate. In case, the overtime work is over 2 hours, but the total overtime work does not exceed 4 hours, the employee shall be paid, in addition to the regular hourly wage, at least an additional 2/3rd of the regular hourly rate.
When overtime is performed by an employee due to an emergency situation, act of God, an accident or an unexpected event etc in such cases, the employer shall provide double the regular wages for the overtime work. Subsequent to the overtime, the employer shall offer the employee suitable time off.
Compensatory time off
An employee who works overtime on a regular day shall be compensated with time off based on the number of overtime hours worked by the employee. The period of the compensatory leave shall be agreed on by the employer and the employee. The employee shall be given a choice between compensatory time off or receive payment for overtime work.
The deadline for use of compensatory time off shall be agreed between the employer and employee and if time off is not taken within that time frame, the employee shall become entitled to payment for the overtime work. When the deadline to take compensatory leave has passed, wages for overtime shall be paid on the payment date agreed on in the contract or within 30 days after the expiration of the period of the compensatory leave. Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020), Art. 24(3), 32 and 32-1 and Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Art. 22-2.
Women are generally not permitted to work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless the labor union or the labor-management committee consents. If such consent is given, the employer must provide transportation or overnight housing for female workers, as well as safety and health facilities.
Pregnant women or mothers who are breastfeeding are barred from night work. Labor Standards Act, §30.
An employee is entitled to an unpaid break of at least 30 minutes after working four 4 continuous hours. The break can be rescheduled if work is of continuous nature/emergency or a rotational system of work is followed. Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) Art. 35.
Weekly Rest Periods
An employee is entitled to at least 2 days off in a week for weekly rest. One day is regular leave and the other is a rest day. In certain industries, employers may determine the regular day off. An employer who adopts a flexible working-hour system, fixed days off (regular leave) and rest days can be arranged as below:
- For employees under a 2 week flexible working-hour system, they shall have at least 1 fixed day off in every 7 days and at least 4 days of fixed days off and rest days in every 2 weeks.
- For employees under a 8 week flexible working-hour system, they shall have at least 1 fixed day off in every 7 days and at least 16 days of fixed days off and rest days in every 8 weeks.
- For employees under a 4 week flexible working-hour system, they shall have at least 2 fixed days off in every 2 weeks and at least 8 days of fixed days off and rest days in every 4 weeks.
An employee shall not be required to work for more than 6 consecutive days.
Employees can be asked to work 12 days in a row and work shifts with only 8 hours of rest in between with approval from the appropriate government authority and their employees in certain approved sectors by the government. Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) Art. 24, 32-1, 39 – 40 and Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Art. 20-1 and 22-3
An employer shall pay a worker overtime wages when required to work on the rest days.
Compensatory time off – The employee shall be given a choice between compensatory time off or receive payment for overtime work. An employee who works overtime on a rest day shall be compensated with time off based on the number of hours worked by the employee and should be taken within a deadline.
When the deadline to take compensatory leave has passed, wages shall be paid on the payment date agreed on in the contract or within 30 days after the expiration of the period of the compensatory leave.
Note: Regular leave is not the same as the rest day. Generally, Saturdays are considered as rest days and Sundays are observed as regular leave. Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) Art. 24, 32-1, 39 – 40 and Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Art. 20-1 and 22-3
Employees are entitled to the following 12 national holidays in Taiwan:
- Founding Day of the Republic of China – January 1
- Peace Memorial Day – February 28
- Labor Day – May 1
- Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) – First three days of the 1st month (Lunar calendar)
- Children’s Day – April 4
- Dragon Boat Festival – 5th day of the 5th month (Lunar calendar)
- Mid-Autumn Festival – 15th day of the 8th month (Lunar calendar)
- Chinese New Year’s Eve: Last Day of the 12th month (Lunar calendar)
- Tomb Sweeping Day: Qingming Festival of the Lunar calendar
- National Day/Double Tenth Day – October 10
Pay – An employee who works on a public holiday shall be paid double of the regular wages for such work. This shall also apply when the employee works with the consent of the labor union in order to meet seasonal needs.
If a public holiday falls on a weekend, a day in lieu is granted by the government. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, the deferred day off is on the preceding workday; if a holiday falls on a Sunday, the deferred day off is on the following workday.
Overtime work on a public holiday – An employee who performs overtime work on a public holiday shall be paid in a similar manner as paid overtime on a regular workday. In case, the overtime work does not exceed 2 hours, the employee shall be paid, in addition to the regular hourly wage, at least an additional 1/3rd of the regular hourly rate.
In case, the overtime work is over 2 hours, but the total overtime work does not exceed 4 hours, the employee shall be paid, in addition to the regular hourly wage, at least an additional 2/3rd of the regular hourly rate.
An employee who is required to work on all leaves of absence (weekly rest days, public holidays, annual leaves) due to an act of God, an accident or unexpected event shall be paid double the regular rate of wages for work during the suspended leave and shall also be granted leave to make up for their suspended leaves.
An employee who works overtime due to the circumstances mentioned above shall also receive double the regular rate of wages and shall also be entitled to compensatory off for a period as may be agreed between the employer and the employee. Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) § Art. 32-1, 39 – 40.
An employee who has worked for the same employer for a certain period of time shall be granted annual leave on an annual basis based on the following conditions:
- At least 6 months but less than 1 year: 3 days’ leave
- More than 1 year but less than 2 years: 7 days’ leave
- More than 2 years but less than 3 years: 10 days’ leave
- More than 3 years but less than 5 years : 14 days’ leave
- More than 5 years but less than 10 years : 15 days’ leave
- One additional day of leave for each year of service over 10 years up to a maximum of 30 days’ leave.
Annual paid leave for employees can be calculated according to the annual year (starting from the day the employee began employment), calendar year, academic year for those in education, or accounting year of the business unit as agreed upon by both employers and employees, or another year-long period agreed upon by both parties.
Timing of Annual Vacation – An employer shall allow the employees to decide the timing of their annual leave as and when they become entitled for the same. The employer shall inform within 30 days of the employee becoming entitled to annual leave.However due to urgent needs of the business operation or personal factors of employees, an employer and employee may agree together on adjustment of the timings of the annual leave.
Carry Forward of Leave – Unused annual leave may be carried forward to the following year. The carried-forward leave must be paid out to employees if it is not used by the end of the following year.
Extraordinary Circumstances – If an unexpected event or emergency leads an employer to suspend an employee’s regular weekly day off or annual or holiday leave, the employee must be paid twice his or her usual wage for the canceled leave and provided with compensatory time off.
The employer must file a report with local authorities within 24 hours of the leave suspension explaining the reasons for it.
Termination of Employment – An employee whose employment has been terminated and has unused annual paid leaves or annual leaves which were extended until the following year as per an agreement between the employer and employee, shall be paid for such unused annual leaves upon termination of employment. Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) Art. 38 – 41 and Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act, Art. 24.
Effective January 1, 2021, the monthly basic wage is adjusted to NT$24,000 and hourly basic wage to NT$160.
The minimum wage may not be up to date. Kindly access the link to get the latest rates.
An employee who shall receive medical service or rest because of ordinary injury, sickness or physical reasons, shall be entitled to leave in the below manner:
- A total of not less than 30 days in one year in case of no hospitalisation;
- A period of 1 year in a two years period in case of hospitalisation;
- Total period of hospitalisation and non-hospitalisation shall not exceed 1 year in two years.
In case an employee is diagnosed with cancer or pregnancy with threatened abortion by physician, out patient treatment – shall be included in the hospitalisation sick leave.
Pay – In situations where the ordinary sick leave does not exceed 30 days in 1 year, 50% of salary shall be paid to the employee. If sickness is partially covered by Labor insurance, but the amount of compensation is less than half of the employee’s wage, the employer must cover the balance.
In case of the ordinary sick leave exceeding the above mentioned time limit and the employee has not recovered after obtaining leave, in such case the employee shall be entitled to leave without pay for a maximum period of 1 year. Regulations of Leave Taking of Workers (amended as of 2019), Art. 4 – 7
A female employee is entitled to 8 weeks’ maternity leave. In the event of a miscarriage, an employee is entitled to 4 weeks’ leave if the miscarriage occurs after 3 months of pregnancy, 1 week if it occurs two to three months into the pregnancy and five days if it occurs less than two months into the pregnancy.
An employee with children under 3 years old whose employer has more than 30 employees may request to reduce working time by one hour per day without pay or to adjust working hours.
Pregnant or breastfeeding employees must not work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Pregnant employees must be granted five days of leave for pregnancy check-ups, during which regular wages must be paid.
Pay – A woman who has been employed for more than six months is paid her regular wage during maternity leave. If she has been employed for less than six months, she is paid at half her regular wage.
An employee with a child under the age of 1 is entitled to two 30-minute rest periods with pay to breastfeed her baby. A female employee with children below the age of 2 or who needs to collect breast milk shall be provided with a break of 60 minutes in a day in addition to regular rest periods. Employees who work overtime in excess of 1 hours of daily working hours are entitled to additional 30 minutes for feeding or breast milk collection. The time for feeding or breast milk collection shall be considered as working time. Act of Gender Equality in Employment (amended as of 2018) Art. 15, 18, 19 and Labor Standards Act, (amended as of 2020) Art.52.
An employee whose spouse is in labor is entitled to 5 days of paid leave. Act of Gender Equality in Employment (amended as of 2018), Art. 15
An employee who has more than 6 months of service with an employer, whose spouse is also employed and has children under the age of 3 can take unpaid parental leave which may not exceed a period of 2 years. Employees who have over 2 children at the same time, shall be entitled to leave which is to be calculated aggregately and the maximum period shall be limited to 2 years by the youngest child.
The duration of unpaid parental leave for raising child or children(ren) shall not be, in principle, less than 6 months each time. If an employee needs to take the leave for less than 6 months, they may file the application with his/her employer for the leave request for no less than 30 days for a maximum of 2 times.
Parental Leave Allowance – The parental leave allowance is calculated and provided on a monthly basis, based on 60% of the insured person’s average monthly insurance salary six months prior to the month the person went on unpaid parental leave.
For each child, the parent can receive a maximum of six months’ allowance. If both parents are eligible, they can apply for the parental leave allowance successively, as long as the period of allowance does not overlap. For each child, parents can receive a maximum of 12 months’ allowance, offering both parents an opportunity to parent their child. Act of Gender Equality in Employment (amended as of 2018), Art. 16.
An employee whose member of the family needs inoculation, suffers from serious illness or must handle other major events, is entitled to 7 days of paid leave per year and the number of days of such leave shall be counted toward the personal Leave. Act of Gender Equality in Employment (amended as of 2018), Art. 20.
An employee is entitled to funeral leave with pay in the below manner:
- 8 days on the death of a parent, foster parent, stepparent or spouse;
- 6 days on the death of a grandparent, child, spouse’s parent, foster parent or step parent of spouse; and
- 3 days on the death of a sibling, great-grandparent or spouse’s grandparent.
Regulations of Leave Taking of Workers(amended as of 2019), Art. 3.
Employees may take up to 14 days per year of unpaid personal leave. Regulations of Leave Taking of Workers(amended as of 2019), Art. 2.
Employees are entitled to paid leave according to legal regulations, the time limit of which shall be determined by actual requirements. Regulations of Leave Taking of Workers(amended as of 2019), Art. 8
Female employees having difficulties performing their work during menstruation may request 1 day menstruation leave each month. If the cumulative menstrual leaves do not exceed 3 days in a year, they must not be counted towards days off for sick leave. All additional menstrual leaves must be counted towards days off for sick leave. Employees on menstruation leave are entitled to half their regular wage. Act of Gender Equality in Employment (amended as of 2018), Art. 14.
An employee is entitled to 8 days of paid leave. Regulations of Leave Taking of Workers(amended as of 2019), Art. 2.
Last updated on: August 3rd, 2021