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New labor rights measures come into effect

TAIPEI -- Several new measures relating to labor rights came into effect yesterday, including higher minimum wages and better work hours for medical personnel.

The hourly minimum wage in Taiwan was increased from NT$109 (US$3.65) to NT$115, which is expected to benefit around 320,000 workers, according to the Council of Labor Affairs.

Starting July 1, 2014, the minimum monthly wage will also be raised, from NT$19,047 to NT$19,273.

In addition, beginning Jan. 1, medical personnel (not including doctors) are excluded from the “system of job responsibility,” under which employees are assigned tasks to complete, no matter how long the work takes.

Under the new regulations, medical staffers should work for no longer than eight hours a day, or 12 hours a day including overtime. The Labor Standards Act stipulates that employees should not have regular work hours in excess of eight hours per day.

Also improved are labor rights for female workers.

From Wednesday, female employees are allowed to take three days of menstrual leave a year. This will not be counted as absent from work, and taking such leave should not affect her annual performance evaluation or full attendance bonus, according to a law amendment.

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