Labor and Management | How is annual leave calculated?
The rights of Taiwanese workers are strictly protected by the Labor Standards Act, with special annual leave being one of the benefits of particular concern to workers. The original intent of the legislation was to protect workers' rights to rest and to improve their quality of life, thereby restoring their labor force. How exactly is the number of days of special leave calculated? And how should unused special leave be converted into money?
Legal Provisions for Special Leave
In Taiwan, Article 38 of the Labor Standards Act specifies special leave (hereafter referred to as "special leave"), which is a period of leave granted to workers after they have continuously worked for a certain period under the same employer.
Furthermore, Article 39 of the Labor Contract Standards Act states that the wages for the holidays, rest days, leave days specified in Article 36, and the special leave specified in Article 38, shall be paid by the employer. If the employer, with the consent of the worker, requires work on a holiday, the wages shall be doubled. The same applies if there is a need to rush work due to seasonal reasons, with the consent of the worker or the union. Of course, the calculation of special leave days, whether unused special leave days can be converted into money, and how to handle special leave days upon resignation, may vary according to regulations. Therefore, workers should pay attention to the latest amendments and provisions of the Labor Standards Act.
The Method of Calculating Special Leave
Under the annual system, the number of special leave days is calculated starting from the worker's "date of hire." Regardless of the month or date the worker starts working, as long as they accumulate 6 months of work, they are entitled to 3 days of special leave. This method of calculation is simple and clear for workers and rarely leads to disputes.
For example, if a worker's date of hire is December 1st, then from June 1st of the following year, the worker is entitled to 3 days of special leave.
Calendar Year System
Although the annual system is more convenient for workers, since each worker's date of hire is different, it can be more complicated for companies. Therefore, the calendar year system, which calculates based on a fixed date range, was previously favored by many companies. Most enterprises calculate from January 1st to December 31st of each year, and then convert the different months of hire into special leave days on a proportional basis for their workers.
Special Leave and Seniority
According to Article 38, Paragraph 1 of the Labor Standards Act, a worker who has continuously worked for a certain period under the same employer or business unit shall be granted special leave as follows:
1. Three days for more than six months but less than one year.
2. Seven days for more than one year but less than two years.
3. Ten days for more than two years but less than three years.
4. Fourteen days for more than three years but less than five years.
5. Fifteen days for more than five years but less than ten years.
6. For more than ten years, an additional day is added for each year, up to a maximum of thirty days.
If you're not sure how many days of special leave you're entitled to, you can also use the special leave day calculation system provided by the Ministry of Labor's Global Information Network to calculate!
Special Leave Conversion to Money
If I can't take all my special leave, can it be converted into money? Article 38, Paragraph 4 of the Labor Standards Act states: For special leave days not taken by the worker due to the end of the year or termination of the contract, the employer shall pay wages.
The calculation method is according to Article 24-1, Paragraph 2 of the Enforcement Rules of the Labor Standards Act: The wages that the employer should pay as stipulated in Article 38, Paragraph 4 of this Act shall be handled as follows: 1. Basis for wage payment:
(i) Multiply the number of special leave days not taken by the worker by their daily wage.
(ii) The aforementioned daily wage is the wage earned during the normal working hours on the day before the end of the special leave year or the termination of the contract. For those paid monthly, it is the amount earned during the normal working hours in the last month before the end of the year or the termination of the contract, divided by thirty.
(iii) If the employer and worker agree to defer the special leave days to the next year as per the proviso of Article 38, Paragraph 4 of this Act, it shall be calculated based on the wage payment standard at the end of the original special leave year.
Deferring Special Leave Days
Feeling it's a pity to convert the leave into money? You can defer your leave! According to the proviso of Article 38, Paragraph 4 of the Labor Standards Act, the number of days not taken at the end of the year can be deferred to the next year by agreement between the employer and worker. If these days are still not taken by the end of the next year or upon termination of the contract, the employer shall pay wages.
Simply put, as long as both the employer and worker agree, special leave can be deferred to the next year without any limit on the number of deferrals. However, before the end of that year or the termination of the labor contract, the employer should still convert the unused days into wages!
Can the Employer Refuse to Grant Special Leave?
According to the Labor Standards Act, the exercise of special leave should be arranged through negotiation between the employer and worker. If negotiation is not possible or unsuccessful, the leave should be taken on the dates specified by the worker. However, if the employer or business unit has urgent operational needs and arranging other special leave dates is not significantly disadvantageous to the worker, this is not applicable. In other words, when a worker chooses the dates for special leave, this decision should be set by the worker themselves, and the employer has no right to refuse to grant leave or to force the worker to prearrange the entire year's special leave schedule. However, in urgent work situations requiring the worker's presence, the employer must negotiate with the worker, and only with the worker's consent can the special leave dates be adjusted.
In this rapidly changing era, special leave (annual leave) is not only a precious time for workers to rest and recharge but also a crucial opportunity to balance work and life. As workers, we should actively understand our rights to special leave and utilize technological tools to manage and plan our vacation time. Through efficient management of special leave, enterprises not only demonstrate their commitment to employee welfare but also a more harmonious and productive work environment.
We encourage every worker to actively communicate with their employer, understand the details of the special leave policy, and fully plan and enjoy their vacation. Special leave is a reward and right you earn after hard work. Appropriate rest and relaxation will inject new energy into your career.
If you have any questions about special leave, or need further help and guidance, please do not hesitate to contact WHP. WHP will provide you with professional advice and support. Remember, make reasonable use of your special leave to invest in your health and happiness. Let's work together to a better work-life balance.