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May 27, 2017

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Budget may nix overtime for MOFA workers: report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Monday that MOFA staff will be not be paid for overtime work starting next month, the Chinese-language United Evening News said yesterday.

Instead, they will be given vacation time in exchange for overtime payment, it said.

The report claims the decision was made because MOFA has run out of money to cover its employees' overtime fees.

This type of situation is common in nearly every branch of government near the end of a fiscal year. It is a common practice for every government branch to earmark a portion of its annual budget to pay for public servants working after regular office hours.

But due to central government's financial difficulties in recent years, the budget allocated for this purpose has seen huge a decrease each year.

The proposed budget will further be cut by lawmakers in the Legislative Yuan during screening, making it even harder for government units to pay for the overtime of some public officials.

Without funding, these government branches may only offer paid leave for public servants.

But most government employees are not happy about being given vacation instead of their regular payment because they are too busy and cannot find time to take days off, the report said.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokesman Steve Hsia yesterday said that only some MOFA staff will not be able to receive overtime pay due to budget constraints.

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