Taiwan shortens rest times between shifts for workers

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) has temporarily lowered the number of rest hours workers must get between shifts from 11 to eight for four industries.
By: | June 11, 2021

The new policy, affecting the manufacturing, wholesale, general retail and warehousing sectors and about 490,000 workers, will remain in effect until Taiwan’s current Level 3 COVID-19 alert is lifted, said MOL. 

The rationale for the change is to provide these industries with more flexibility in scheduling their workers to meet the increased demand in the respective sectors due to the pandemic, said Huang Wei-chen, director of the MOL’s Department of Labour Standards and Equal Employment. 

This move comes after MOL’s decision last month to lift limits on overtime work for manufacturing, logistics and retail workers, under special guidelines relating to emergency situations. 

The pandemic has given rise to a huge increase in online shopping and demand for consumer staple products, leading to a significant rise in the need for home delivery services and manpower for retailers such as supermarkets and their supply chains. 

Employers seeking to adopt the new guidelines must first obtain permission from their employees, either through their unions or labour-management meetings, while those employing more than 30 staff must notify the local government. 

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Taiwan’s national Level 3 alert, announced on May 19 and extended through June 28, was imposed due to the outbreak that has grown to over 10,000 domestically transmitted cases since mid-May, according to Focus Taiwan.