TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor has announced a NT$1 billion (approximately US$32 million) subsidy package that will provide some service workers with an additional take-home pay of 6,000 to 13,000 yuan per month, up to Up to 1 person. Year.
The Deputy Development Director of the Labor Department, Chung Kam-chi, said that the wage subsidy is aimed at industries with a shortage of employees. The plan is an expansion of the existing post-pandemic government wage subsidy and applies to those earning a minimum wage of NT$28,000-30,000 and above, depending on where individuals live.
Those working as housekeepers and cleaners in the lodging, restaurant and catering industries are eligible.
The object of the subsidy is NT$6,000 per month for laborers, but middle-aged people (45-65 years old), elderly people (over 65 years old), women returning to the workplace, aborigines, new immigrants and other target groups can enjoy the subsidy. Additional NT$10,000 per month. Workers in designated remote areas can receive an additional NT$3,000 per month, up to a maximum of NT$13,000 per month.
Despite the extra income, labor advocate Yin Yilin said the policy appeared to mostly benefit businesses and was unlikely to lead to better conditions for workers in the long run.
“A smarter system would require companies to pay higher wages, and the government would provide a wage subsidy for the transition period so that even if the subsidy runs out after a year, companies would still pay higher wages,” Ngerng told Taiwan News. “It appears that the plan fails to achieve structural changes aimed at raising wages in Taiwan.”
Sun Yulian in 2022. (Photo by Central News Agency)
Sun Youlian of the Taiwan Labor Front agrees, saying the subsidies may attract more workers into industries with labor shortages, but employers need to change their mindset if they want to retain workers and grow their industries in the long run.
“Only by giving workers reasonable wages can the industry develop better,” Sun said. Once the incentives expire, employers should maintain wage levels to retain existing talent, otherwise the labor shortage problem will persist, he added.
According to data released by the Ministry of Labor in May, 70% of young Taiwanese earn between NT$27,000 and NT$29,000 a month. In response, the ministry launched a youth development program to keep young workers out of low-paying jobs it said were in food, retail and other service industries.
When asked about the two different policy approaches, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told Taiwan News that the wage subsidy is a short-term policy targeting specific industries, while the youth development plan is long-term and targeting people of a specific age group. The spokesman said the policies would not be in opposition to each other.