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Labor insurance rates to increase by 0.5% effective January 2017

On average, employers are expected to cover an extra NT$107 per month for each employee; workers will need to pay an additional NT$31 per month.

According to Ministry of Labor (MOL, 勞動部) figures, the policy is set to affect more than 10 million employees and 540,000 employers.

The Labor Insurance Act (勞保條例) stipulates that premium payments are split among employers, the government and workers, which finance 70, 20 and 10 percent of the cost, respectively.

For example, workers in the highest classification bracket, those whose monthly earnings exceed NT$45,800, will need to pay NT$46 more per month, while their employers must pay another NT$160 per month for each employee.

In September, the Labor Ministry’s minimum wage review committee announced it would increase the monthly minimum wage to NT$21,009 from the current NT$20,008, effective Jan. 1.

Once labor insurance rates are increased to 10.5 percent in January, a worker making the minimum wage of NT$21,009 per month will need to pay approximately NT$441 in labor insurance premiums per year, while workers who fall under the highest monthly income bracket will be required to pay NT$962.

Additional premiums will range from NT$21 per month for those earning minimum wage to NT$46 per month for those in the top wage bracket.

An amendment to the Labor Insurance Act set the labor insurance rates for 2009 at 7.5 percent and stipulated that they should be adjusted upward 0.5 percent three years later, starting in 2011. For every year after that, rates were scheduled to increase by 0.5 percent per year until they reached 10 percent in 2015. Rates are slated to increase 0.5 percent every two years until they hit the 13-percent ceiling.

Bosses Bemoan Hike

According to local media, the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI, 全國工業總會) criticized the government for repeatedly rolling out policies no employee or employer is happy with.

“The new government only wants to give workers small satisfactions and is not pushing forward any solutions to drive up salary growth in the long run,” said CNFI Secretary-General Tsai Lian-sheng (蔡練生).

Tsai argued the government has been squeezing the nation’s firms too hard, claiming the recent six-day workweek policy and minimum wage hike is already causing employers’ personnel expenses to increase by nearly NT$150 billion.

“(The goose) has only so many feathers to pluck,” said Tsai.

He expressed concern that with the expectation of additional personnel costs next year, bosses will hold back on distributing year-end bonuses to employees.