Labor-Management Meeting May Attach Time Limits to Approvals

Taiwan's Ministry of Labor (勞動部) announced in November 2019 the "Directions for Implementing Labor-Management Meetings of Business Entities" (事業單位召開勞資會議應行注意事項) (Directions), which became effective from November 26, 2019. The Directions set forth 15 regulations with respect to management implementation of labor-management meetings. One the most important directions is Article 13 of the Directions, which stipulates that a labor-management meeting may attach a time limit to an approval made by the meeting. 

According to the Articles 30, 30-1, 32, 34, 36, and 49 of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), the implementation of irregular working hours, extended working hours, shortened rest periods, adjustment of regular leave, or night shifts for female workers by a business entity can only be made with the consent of the relevant labor union or, if there is no labor union, with the approval of the relevant labor-management meeting. 

In actual past practice, once a labor-management meeting gave an approval for implementation of the abovesaid matters, the effect of such approval often applied to all workers of the business entity, including new employees who were employed by the business entity after the labor-management meeting. Therefore, managements were in practice able to obtain a permanent consent to the implementation of the abovesaid matters. 

However, pursuant to article 13 of the Directions, when giving an approval as stipulated at Articles 30, 30-1, 32, 34, 36, or 49 of the Labor Standards Act, a labor-management meeting may append a deadline to limit the scope and range of the approval so that the workers will have a chance to review and change the decision in the future.
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