Basic Wage to Be Debated; Wealth Gap Narrows

taiwan ministry of labor
Photo by Wei-Te Wong via Creative Commons

Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor will hold its annual basic wage committee meeting on Friday, and Labor Minister Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) said that she “cannot have an established position” on the issue because she must take into account both sides of the argument.

Lin said that the basic wage must be an consensus between employees and employers and that she will listen to both sides and provide mediation, UDN reported.

However, the article notes that while the Ministry of Labor takes employers’ concerns into consideration, it is in favor of seeing a continued rise in the basic wage. Labor groups are seeking a raise of 5% this year.

Some employers have claimed that recent labor law changes, particularly those pertaining to overtime pay and pension reform, have increased the burden on companies and affected hiring practices.

Meanwhile, according to statistics released yesterday from the Ministry of Finance, the average annual salary for those who worked more than 180 days in Taiwan in 2015 increased to NT$547,000 from NT$512,000 in 2011. The median salary increased from NT$375,000 to NT$400,000 during the period.

The Ministry of Finance noted that the wealth gap narrowed from 13.3 times in 2011 to 12.6 times 2015. It also found that the proportion of low-wage workers has also decreased to 26% of all workers in 2014. 30% of low-income households are 21 to 30 years old. Meanwhile, those older than 41 years old saw their income rise the most–by about 10%–during the period. Those under 40 saw their income grow by less than 3% in that time.

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