Lawmakers call for more flexible leave to help new parents work well and parent well

Lawmakers call for more flexible leave to help new parents work well and parent well


With Taiwan’s aging population crisis worsening, matters like inflexible parental leave seem to only be making matters worse. A press conference featuring DPP lawmakers and civic groups called on the government to allow parents to be able to take leave in customizable chunks of time. They say this can help them better meet the demands of their family and their workplaces.

Taiwan’s unpaid parental leave laws are known for being rigid, with current regulations stating that leave “shall not be, in principle, less than six months each time.” Today, DPP lawmakers and civic groups got together to hold a press conference where the speakers called on the government to provide more time-related flexibility for parental leave.

Fan Yun
DPP lawmaker
Once gender equality is achieved, women will also start to pursue the dream careers they originally had. When you add that together with financial pressure you get a dwindling birthrate. And if you can’t fix this issue, then you’ll get a social structure problem. We hope that the Ministry of Labor can give a real world response to public demand by implementing an important political viewpoint of President-elect Lai Ching-te, which is parental leave reform.

Lin Shu-fen
DPP lawmaker
The current system for parental leave without pay is if you as the parent choose to keep your job, then your job is protected if you want to take a longer-term parental leave without pay. If you want something more flexible, then the period of time for work leave can be altered to meet your workplace’s requirements. This second track is flexible leave for parents. We want both parental leave tracks to run alongside each other.

Another lawmaker said that if the law isn’t changed then the aging population crisis will only get worse over time.

Hung Sun-han
DPP lawmaker
When time isn’t flexible or ample enough to help a mother cope with all sorts of potential family situations, then she’ll have to face a difficult choice. When time allotment for parental leave time is so set in stone, then labor shortages will only get worse. Are worsening labor shortages good for industries? And so the way to bridge these labor gaps is by doing what industries seem to be doing effortlessly right now, which is hiring migrant workers from other countries? I don’t think that’s the way we should be doing things.

Taiwan’s potential demographic collapse concerns all political parties. Pan-green lawmakers have pitched the issue of fixing inflexible parental leave, and so they hope lawmakers nationwide will step up to the plate and, together, revise the law.

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