[Taiwan] Bill To Boost Employment Of Older Workers Passes

Employers found to be discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of their age will soon face fines following the passing of bill intended to boost the employment of older workers by the Legislative Yuan last week, Focus Taiwan reports.

The new legislation extends protections to an increasingly large portion of Taiwan's population, Under the legislation, employers found guilty of age discrimination will face fines from NT$300,000 (US$9,826) to NT$1.5 million.

The bill bans employers from giving different treatment to middle-aged and elderly job applicants and employees during the recruitment or hiring process, when evaluating employee performance, allocating jobs, or when considering promotions, salary and benefits, retirement issues or dismissal.

The definition of middle-aged workers is those aged 45-65. Elderly workers are defined as those over 65.

Under the terms of the bill, people in those age groups experiencing workplace age discrimination will be entitled to file complaints with local labour authorities and would receive protection from dismissal, transfer or other forms of retribution.

In addition to a fine of up to NT$1.5 million for age discrimination, an employer who transfers or dismisses an employee after the employee files a discrimination complaint would incur fines of NT$20,000 to NT$300,000.

The new legislation further says that the Ministry of Labor should publish the names of both companies and their owners after they are found guilty of discrimination and instruct them to make improvements within a defined period or incur subsequent fines.

Beyond its punitive details, the bill makes positive changes to encourage the employment of people of 65 or over.

It lets companies hire elderly workers on fixed-term contracts and would offer government subsidies to employers hiring workers who have legally retired so they may pass their professional skills to younger employees.

It would be a requirement of local labour authorities that they establish elderly employment offices to provide training opportunities, job-matching services and legal advice.

Source: Focus Taiwan