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Long hours and low pay to become the norm in Taiwan's labour market
Publication Date : 23-09-2013
Long working hours and low pay will become the norm in Taiwan's labour market as a result of the fast growth in atypical employment, an observer said Saturday.
The number of atypical workers, including those who have only temporary employment or work on assignments by dispatch agencies, has risen to 740,000 so far this year, said Lin Yu-min, chief executive of the Chinese Personnel Executive Association (CPEA).
Atypical employment used to be a segment in the labour market for students and housewives looking for part-time work, but more and more regular labourers have been unable to find suitable work and are turning to atypical employment, Lin said.
Atypical workers receive low pay at a monthly average of NT$19,038 (US$641), Lin said, stressing that the growth in atypical employment is also curbing salary levels in the regular job market.
Employers are now more prone to outsource less important work, or hire dispatched workers. In both cases, employers do not have to bear the extra labor costs that they would otherwise have to pay: labor insurance, health insurance and pensions.
Lin said employers now calculate their labor costs very carefully following recent rises in insurance costs and minimum wages, and salary levels in Taiwan have been stagnant.
Lin cited an international labor report as indicating that Taiwan's average salary stood at NT$45,888 (US$1,500) per month last year, the lowest of the so-called Four Little Dragons in Asia (the other three being Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea). Taiwan's average working hours amounted to 2,140.8 hours a year.
US$1 = NT$29.42