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August 24, 2017

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Gender equality in employment act revised

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Legislative Yuan yesterday amended the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, adding three extra days of menstruation leave that will not be deducted from half-pay common sick leave.

Under Article 4 of the Rules on Leave-taking by Workers, days of sick leaves requested by employees for the purpose of treatment or rest as a result of common illness or injury shall not exceed the limit of 30 days if hospitalization is not required. Wages issued for employees taking sick leave within the 30 days will be halved, with medical fees not to exceed the amount of half of the employee's daily wage covered by employers under labor insurance.

The rule worked conjointly with the original Article 14 under Chapter 4 of the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, which gave women employees one day of menstrual leave per month. However, the menstrual leave under the original article was treated as a common sick leave that was incorporated into the calculation of the 30 days half pay limit.

The regulation was deemed inconsiderate and unfair toward women in the workplace, prompting Legislators Chiang Huei-chen (江惠貞), Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and Pan Men-an (潘孟安) to propose an amendment to the act, stating that the unrevised regulation was a violation of women's basic rights.

Following the amendment's passage, women will be given three days of menstrual leave per year, which will not be calculated toward the 30 days of common sick leave, giving women up to 33 days of health-related leaves per year, though the extra three days do not come with half-pays once a woman employee exceeds the regulated 30.

Labor Standards Law also amended to accommodate child actors

Child actors in Taiwan do not usually work overtime, but are frequently asked to pull all-nighters with cast-and-crew to advance the progress of the project in which they star.

Though their appearance and their performances attract audiences to tune in, the prolonged exposure of pressure from work and staying up late cause serious effects to the physical and psychological growth of a child, as well as their studies, said experts.

"The current Labor Standards Law does not provide sufficient protection towards child actors," said Legislator Wang Yu-min (王育敏).

"Child actors not only work overtime well past midnight, they are at times asked to take on dangerous shots on their own without a double. This is outrageous if not dangerous," the lawmaker added.

Wang moved to accommodate the healthy growth of a child star, by amending the law to regulate no more than 8 hours per day with no more than 40 hours per week of working hours for a child.

A child actor should also be restricted from working during holidays, he said, adding that any child under the age of 15 who is not under contractual obligations shall also be protected, where the guardianship and the responsibility which comes with shall fall towards the hiring agency.

Following the amendment, the council of Labor Affairs (CLA) will provide a standard to which the age, nature of work and education of a child employee will be considered in formulating a protective act which will guarantee both the personally safety and the development of a child.

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