Calls for Taiwan to amend labour law to increase birth rate

The Childcare Policy Alliance (CPA) has urged the government to reform labour laws to boost the birth rate and retain married women in the workforce.
By: | September 21, 2021

CPA spokesperson Huang Chiao-ling has called on the government to amend labour laws to allow working parents to take parental leave in hourly blocks, and also entitle them to such leave until their child is eight, and not three which is currently the case. 

Such changes would make childcare leave more flexible, and consequently help boost the nation’s birth rate and the participation of married women in the workforce, said CPA convener Liu Yu-hsiu. 

Current labour laws in Taiwan mandate that parents who take childcare leave must do so in monthly blocks, which often permanently removes mothers from the workforce, she said, adding that such inflexible regulations are not beneficial both to families and business owners. 

Using hourly blocks for leave would make it easier for workers and employers to negotiate time off and avoid unwanted and unnecessary disputes, said Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions president Chang Chi-shan said. 

“Women should not be forced to choose between their careers and children,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Shu-fen said, adding that most women employed in full-time work will not accept pro-family policies that reduce their incomes. 

As such, providing subsidies for childrearing and creating a family-friendly workplace are also important measures for the government to consider going forward, she said. 

READ: Union in Taiwan wants subsidised childcare leave for parents

The proposed changes for flexible hourly parental leave would require the government to make amendments to the Employment Insurance Act and the Regulations for Implementing Unpaid Parental Leave for Raising Children, CPA’s Huang said, according to Taipei Times.