[Taiwan] Employers must grant childcare leave as COVID-19 cases rise

[Taiwan] Employers must grant childcare leave as COVID-19 cases rise
24 May 2021

Employers must give "disease prevention childcare leave" to eligible employees, following the announcement by Taipei and New Taipei that all schools in the two municipalities will be closed, Focus Taiwan reports.

On May 17, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) announced that schools - from elementary to high school level - would close the following day and remain closed for two weeks to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the ministry, employers discovered forcing employees to take annual leave or personal leave instead of "disease prevention childcare leave" will face a fine ranging from NT$20,000 (US$712.22) to NT$1 million for violating the Labor Standards Act.

The Taipei and New Taipei City governments announced on May 17 all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools - in addition to cram schools - will suspend face-to-face classes between May 18 and May 28.

During the closures, schools will implement arrangements for students to continue learning at home through flexible use of various teaching methods, the New Taipei City government said.

Parents of children under the age of 12 or of an older child with disabilities are eligible to take coronavirus-related childcare leave during this period, both governments said.

Whether the leave is paid or unpaid is a matter for discussion by employers and employees, the city governments added.

According to the official MOL website, disease prevention childcare leave is a special measure intended for epidemic prevention in Taiwan. However, there is no requirement for employers to pay workers who take statutory disease prevention childcare leave.

An FAQ section on the MOL website states that employers are prohibited from penalising workers in any way for taking disease prevention childcare leave, such as deducting full-attendance bonus payments, considering such leave as absenteeism or forcing workers to take other types of leave instead.

In addition, employees can request unpaid family care leave to take care of family members who need vaccinations, become seriously ill, or for other related events. The number of family care leave days may not exceed seven days in one year, according to the Taipei City government.

On May 17, Taiwan confirmed 333 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases; the highest number recorded in the country in a single day since the pandemic began.

According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), Taipei reported the highest number of new cases, with 158, of which 89 were in Wanhua District, while 148 cases were reported in New Taipei, with 41 involving residents of Banqiao District.


Source: Focus Taiwan

Employers must give "disease prevention childcare leave" to eligible employees, following the announcement by Taipei and New Taipei that all schools in the two municipalities will be closed, Focus Taiwan reports.

On May 17, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) announced that schools - from elementary to high school level - would close the following day and remain closed for two weeks to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the ministry, employers discovered forcing employees to take annual leave or personal leave instead of "disease prevention childcare leave" will face a fine ranging from NT$20,000 (US$712.22) to NT$1 million for violating the Labor Standards Act.

The Taipei and New Taipei City governments announced on May 17 all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools - in addition to cram schools - will suspend face-to-face classes between May 18 and May 28.

During the closures, schools will implement arrangements for students to continue learning at home through flexible use of various teaching methods, the New Taipei City government said.

Parents of children under the age of 12 or of an older child with disabilities are eligible to take coronavirus-related childcare leave during this period, both governments said.

Whether the leave is paid or unpaid is a matter for discussion by employers and employees, the city governments added.

According to the official MOL website, disease prevention childcare leave is a special measure intended for epidemic prevention in Taiwan. However, there is no requirement for employers to pay workers who take statutory disease prevention childcare leave.

An FAQ section on the MOL website states that employers are prohibited from penalising workers in any way for taking disease prevention childcare leave, such as deducting full-attendance bonus payments, considering such leave as absenteeism or forcing workers to take other types of leave instead.

In addition, employees can request unpaid family care leave to take care of family members who need vaccinations, become seriously ill, or for other related events. The number of family care leave days may not exceed seven days in one year, according to the Taipei City government.

On May 17, Taiwan confirmed 333 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases; the highest number recorded in the country in a single day since the pandemic began.

According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), Taipei reported the highest number of new cases, with 158, of which 89 were in Wanhua District, while 148 cases were reported in New Taipei, with 41 involving residents of Banqiao District.


Source: Focus Taiwan

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