The key points pertaining to the amendments to the Gender Equality in Employment Act (hereinafter "the Act") which took effect on May 18, 2016 are explained below:
- Change to Age Limit for Infant Feeding
In order to bring the law into accordance with the latest medical opinions and with the actual needs of infant children, ROC Taiwan's legislators changed the age requirements for infant feeding from a maximum age limit of one (1) years-old, to a maximum age of two (2) years-old.
- Change to Feeding Times and the Allowable Number of Feedings
Previously, employees were entitled only to two (2) feedings per day, with each feeding limited to 30 minutes. However, Taiwan's legislators believed that infants' actual feeding needs did not match these requirements, and thus changed the requirements to a limit of 60 minutes per day, with no limit set on the number of feedings available, in order to address and reduce the physical and pyschological stress caused by infants' feeding needs.
- Feeding and Overtime Working Hours
Prior to the current amendment, the Act did not take infant feeding needs into consideration for employees who worked beyond normal working hours. The current amendments now require employees who work more than one hour of overtime to receive an additional 30 minutes of feeding time.
- Expansion of Obligations for Employer-Provided Feeding Areas or Appropriate Childcare Facilities
In order to strengthen coporate social responsibility and to provide assistance for the needs of employees' infant children, Taiwan's legislators changed the employer standards, making them now applicable to companies employing 100 or more employees – whereas the standards were previously applicable only to companies employing 250 or more employees. Henceforth, these employers also will be required to provide appropriate feeding areas, childcare facilities, or other appropriate measures in order to create even more positive workplace environments.
- Sexual Harrasment Official Leave with Pay, etc.
In 1988, the Ministry of Labor stated in its ruling (Reference No. : Tai Lau 2 Tze No. 02276) that "employees called to testify in court relating to violations of the Labor Standards Act, Labor Safety and Health Act, or other related laws and regulations, shall be entitled to take official leave with pay per statute." In order to meet the intent of this letter, Article 27 was updated to provide that "employees who pursue sexual harrasment litigation will also be entitled to official leave with payfor time spent on the related litigation, and will also be entitled to financial assistance for related transporation costs." Article 38 of the Act was also updated to provide that employers may be penalized for failing to provide these benefits to employees in pursuit of sexual harrasment litigation.