Almost 70% of student employers violate labor law: poll

Almost 70 percent of student employers in the vicinity of four major universities in Taiwan are in violation of the Labor Standards Act, a survey showed on Monday.

According to the survey released by National Sun Yat-sen University in southern Taiwan, Tunghai University in central Taiwan, and Fu Jen Catholic University and National Chengchi University in northern Taiwan, the most serious violations included failure to provide student employees with labor insurance.

The survey was jointly conducted by the universities and the Taiwan Pioneer Labor Association (TPLA), a local labor group.

The survey covered a total of 211 shops in the area around the universities and found about 68 percent of employers failed to follow the Labor Standards Act and 44.08 percent of those failed to pay for labor insurance for their student employees.

Wu Chao-ju (吳昭儒), head of the TPLA, said that although some employers claimed they were exempt from paying labor insurance because they employed fewer than five people, they still failed to notify employees of that fact during a job interview. As a result, many student employees failed to join a labor association to buy insurance and protect themselves, Wu added.

In addition, 17.6 percent of polled employers who violated the labor law also failed to pay student employees the minimum wage, the survey showed.

Lin Tung (林彤), a representative of Sun Yat-sen University’s student association, said that many shops failed to pay student employees the minimum hourly wage of NT$126 (US$3.95). Lin added that a well-known beverage chain even paid as little as NT$80 per hour as a starting wage for student employees and only NT$95 after employees passed the probationary period.

Lin said that some shops failed to pay anything in the first week of probation.

The survey said that 45.06 percent of polled employers who violated the labor law also failed to pay student employees double time when they worked on a holiday. The survey indicated that many student employees were unaware they were entitled to double pay.

The TPLA urged the Ministry of Labor and labor agencies in local city governments to step up labor inspections in a bid to prevent students from being exploited by employers.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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