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Policies & Regulations Five-day Work Week Reduces Overwork and Number of Working Hours

The Ministry of Labor has stated that the Labor Standards Act has been amended to thoroughly implement the five-day work week and lower the threshold for taking annual paid leave, thereby improving basic labor rights, ensuring that workers are entitled to adequate rest, and reducing the phenomenon of overwork. It is imperative that employers and workers collaborate to improve labor conditions.

In addition to the establishment of the five-day work week, the implementation of the amended Labor Standards Act should take into account the supplementary measures of the “calculation criteria for increased overtime wages on rest days” and “inclusion of rest day working hours to total number of extended working hours.” Use of the “Total Amount Control method for calculating working hours” and the “Control Amount by Price method for calculating cost of wages” will motivate employers to be more prudent when requesting workers to work on rest days. This will reduce the probability of overwork and effectively ensure that workers are entitled to the five-day work week.

The Ministry of Labor further stated that, in the current amendments, workers who have worked for the same employer for six months or more but less than one year are now entitled to three days of annual paid leave; the amount of annual paid leave for those who have worked for the same employer for less than five years has also been increased. Regulations stipulating that “annual paid leave shall in principle be arranged by workers” and “employers should inform workers to arrange annual paid leave” further ensure that workers are free to decide on which days to take their annual paid leave. These measures serve to better protect worker rights to paid leave and effectively decrease the number of working hours.

The Ministry of Labor reiterates that the purpose of this amendment is to implement the five-day work week. In the long run, it is certain to help prevent overwork and lower the number of working hours. Workers who maintain a healthy balance between work and family are better able to focus on their tasks and duties. This improves productivity and enables companies to earn more profit, and is therefore also beneficial to businesses and corporations.

Key words: Five-day Work Week, Working Hours, Wages

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