Jul 04, 2017 General Comments Off on 80% of employers attribute rising costs to new work rules: survey
Taipei--About 80 percent of employers in Taiwan have felt the pinch from implementing the government's new work rules, which they blame for rising operating costs, a new survey showed on Tuesday.
Citing the survey conducted in June, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), one of the leading economic think tanks in Taiwan, said 86.3 percent of respondents in the manufacturing sector and 77.3 percent in the non-manufacturing sector said the new rigid work rules have had an adverse impact on day to day operations.
CIER said the results point to the clear impact the new work rules have had on enterprise operations.
Under the new regulations, which took effect in December, the maximum number of work hours has been reduced from 84 hours per fortnight to 40 hours per week with one mandatory day off and one flexible rest day each week.
Employers are now required to pay overtime for work on the flexible day off, while many employers and employees have complained that the rigid work rules leave less leeway to for preferable work schedules, even if both sides agree with the arrangement.
The survey echoed statistics released by the government in late June which said that overtime pay received by employees in Taiwan increased by about 9 percent in the first four months of the year.
According to the survey, 80.3 percent of polled employers in the manufacturing sector said the new work rules have cut flexibility for them to arrange work schedules, while 79.4 percent of respondents in the non-manufacturing sector said they found it harder than before to optimize work schedules.
Quoting the survey, CIER said the local manufacturing sector is cautiously optimistic about the market outlook for the next six months, while many enterprises in the manufacturing sector remain concerned over the value of the Taiwan dollar (72.2 percent), fluctuations in international energy and raw material prices (53.3 percent) and cross-strait ties (44.2 percent).
According to the survey, the non-manufacturing sector expects revenue in 2017 to fall 0.94 percent from a year earlier on average due to the drop off in Chinese arrivals in Taiwan amid cooling cross-strait ties.
A similar survey conducted by CIER in December showed that the sector expected 2016 sales on average to drop 1.24 percent year-on-year.
Government statistics show that the number of visitors from China fell from 4.18 million in 2015 to to 3.51 million in 2016 after the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party took office in May last year. Industry sources estimate the number could fall to 2.1 million in 2017.
Also on Tuesday, CIER released the latest activity data for the manufacturing sector and the non-manufacturing sector with both indexes still pointing to expansion, although the manufacturing sector's purchasing managers index (PMI) for June fell 1.1 points from May to 57.6 and the non-manufacturing index (NMI) for the service sector dropped 2.4 points from a month earlier to 53 in June.
PMI and NMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel