The Ministry of Labor said that a total of 7262 businesses in Taiwan have been cited for violating the Labor Standards Act in last year, with a total of 12,201 violations. The number of businesses included in the list decreased 21% from the previous year, with the number of violations decreasing 20%.
The top two companies for violations are Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. and Carrefour, followed by Fuji Xerox Taiwan, Apple Daily reported. Nan Shan Life and Carrefour each recorded 24 labor violations; Fuji Xerox had 23.
The majority of violations were related to unpaid overtime, with 2346 violations recorded. Overtime exceeding the legal limit was the second most-recorded violation. The Ministry of Labor noted that the number of overtime pay violations has decreased 48% in the last year.
Nan Shan Life responded to the report that 99.8% of internal staff had consented to overtime work and the company is seeking to resolve the disputes. The company noted that while the staff has signed to consent to overtime work, the union has not yet agreed to the terms.
Carrefour said that 14 of the violations were related to the union not providing consent for overtime. The company has appealed the violations. A supervisor at Carrefour told Apple Daily that the French-owned hypermarket has encountered problems with unpaid overtime in the past and has been fined repeatedly for violating the law. The supervisor noted that the company is gradually eliminating overtime work.
Fuji Xerox has not been punished for any of its violations, but the company said it will continue to negotiate in good faith with its staff.
Taiwan Railways Administration noted that it has implemented a new work schedule that began in October and that its violations were due to the use of old work schedules. It added that the company will appeal some of the cases as it claims some inspection standards are inconsistent.
NTU Graduate Institute of National Development associate professor Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆) said that while the knowledge of labor laws has improved, the government should consider increasing fines. He believes that increased fines will make businesses fearful of violating the law, thereby improving working conditions. He added that increasing the number of inspections won’t help the situation and will only lead to criticism of the ministry as the inspections will interrupt normal business.
The government has retained a list of labor law violations since July 1, 2011. The number of labor law violations has increased since the government amended overtime laws. A list of companies in violation of labor law in Taipei can be found on the Department of Labor website in Chinese.