MOL: Night Shifts to be Regarded as Working Hours for Overtime Pay & New Restrictions for Residential Chartering and Subletting Contract

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MOL: Night Shifts to be Regarded as Working Hours for Overtime Pay & New Restrictions for Residential Chartering and Subletting Contract

MOL: Night Shifts to be Regarded as Working Hours for Overtime Pay after 2022

The Ministry of Labor(MOL) issued the revision of « Instructions for Institutions to Regulate Day or Night Shift Workers « . In addition to correcting some common doubts, it also set the sunset clause of the administrative rules, declaring the instruction would be abolished in 2022. To elaborate, so far, if the worker of day and night shifts is engaged in receiving calls, patrolling, etc., it is legal for employer only pay the allowance instead of the overtime, but from 2022 onwards, workers on day and night shift are entitled to claim it as working hours and received overtime pay as a result.

The deputy director of the Labor Conditions and Employment Equality Department of the Ministry of Labor, Wei-sen Huang, explained that the Instructions for Institutions to Regulate Day or Night Shift Workers was established in 1985. If an organization arranges labours on days or night shifts, conducting works such as receiving urgent documents, answering calls, patrolling business sites and emergency accident notification, contact or handling, ect., as the work density is comparatively low; so it has not been recognized as working hours over the years. No statutory overtime pay or holiday attendance pay, but only grants have been given to the employee.

According to Huang, besides the abolition, if the instruction, the focus of this amendment is the adding the minimum amount of the recommended daily and night allowances, which shall not be less than the 1/240 of monthly basic salary per hour. For example, if one is on duty 6 pm until 8 am the next day and the current monthly basic salary is NTD$2,3100, then he shall be given (23,100/240)*14hrs= NTD$1,374.5 of allowance for the night shift.

In addition, if the institution asks female labour for the night shift, it is also necessary to refer to the requirements of the Labor Standard Act, based on which the employer is obliged to provide the necessary safety and sanitation facilities or measures. For pregnant or lactating periods, night shifts are prohibited.

The Ministry of Labor explained that even if the workers are in the day or night shift, it is still under the command and supervision of management empirically. Therefore, the government will gradually have the shift duty return to the concept of « work time » under the Labor Standard Act but based on the consideration of the health and well-being of the workers and the manpower needs of the institutions, an appropriate grace period is required for the management to make the adjustment. Consequently, the MOL decided to set the date as the sunset clause; the Instructions for Institutions to Regulate Day or Night Shift Workers will become a thing of past from January 1, 2022.

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New Restrictions for Residential Chartering and Subletting Contract Revealed

For the purpose of promoting the fairness and reasonableness of the lease contract and further protect the interests of the tenants from sublessors and landlords , the Ministry of Interior(MOI) recently revealed the “Mandatory Provisions to be Included in and Prohibitory Provisions of Residential Charter Contract” as well as the “Mandatory Provisions to be Included in and Prohibitory Provisions of Standard Form Contract for  Residential Subletting ». The new restriction will be hit off on the first day of June this year. In the future, chartering industry, landlords (or landladies) and tenants shall negotiate the contracts under the restriction of these two provisions to decrease disputes and secure transaction safety.

Based on the press release by the Ministry, rental housing subletting business plays the role of middleman, which rent the house from the landlord or landlady and then sublet it to the tenant and is generally responsible for managing. The first recently made Provision mentioned above applies to contract between the owner of the house and the subleasing business, who, in addition to the obligations of the general lessee, responsible for the management, including implementation of daily maintenance and keeping records of rental place’s status. Furthermore, within 30 days after signing the sublease contract, the owner should be notified in writing of the scope of the sublet, the lease, the name of the tenant, etc. The subletting business shall assist the lessor in handling the lease so that the landlord can save time and effort, and the rent collection is more secure.

To encourage the house owner to entrust the charter business, the “Mandatory Provisions to be Included in and Prohibitory Provisions of Residential Charter Contract” offers a tax concession. For instance, when the charter period is more than one year, the landlord is entitled to enjoy a maximum t of $6,000 tax-free allowance per month, and the necessary depletion cost between NTD$6,000 to 20,000 will be applied to a 47% tax discount. Evidently, the time and money saved are making it more cost-effective than directly renting out to the tenant, the MOI said.

On the other hand, the second Provision mentioned in paragraph one applies to the contract between the rental housing subleasing business and the tenant. The “Mandatory Provisions to be Included in and Prohibitory Provisions of Standard Form Contract for Rental Residence Subletting” not only included the relevant provisions of the general lease contract but also required the subleasing business to bear the responsibility of the business operator, including the obligation to provide the written document that the landlord agrees to sublease, the confirmation of the status of the lease, and the contents of the lease when signing the contract with the tenant. Carry out routine repairs and maintenance records as shall be always available and accessible to the tenants. If the landlord terminates the chartering contract in advance, the chartering industry is obliged to assist the tenant to preferentially rent other houses. Moreover, the tenants are not allowed to sublet the leased residence or transfer the lease to others.

To avoid the high electricity cost of collected by the chartering industry, and to seek improper benefits, if the electricity fee is paid by the tenant, the calculation shall not exceed the maximum amount of electricity used by the Tai-power Company in summer. The Ministry of the Interior also reminded the tenants that the electricity billing of the Tai-power Company is based on the electricity rate and the progressive rate. The renter can negotiate the rate with the landlord according to the shared electricity, suggested the MOI.

In terms of subletting contracts, in order to prevent the chartering industry from using the terms of the contract to restrict or deprive the tenants of their rights and interests, there are clauses that cannot be written, including provision to prohibit the tenants declaring the rental expenses, moving into the household registration, and transferring the tax burden, so that the two mandatory provisions could protect the rights of renters.

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