Elizabeth Pai and Hannah Kuo
The Ministry of Labor amended the Regulations for Implementing Unpaid Parental Leave on June 4, 2021 and additionally formulated the Guidelines for Salary Subsidies for Unpaid Parental Leave to ease the requirements for the duration of parental leave and add salary subsidy. The relevant regulations formally came into effect on July 1, 2021.
I. The requirements for the duration of unpaid parental leave is eased, and it is additionally required that the application shall be filed 10 days in advance.
Under the current law of Taiwan, after having worked for the employer for six months, an employee is eligible to apply for unpaid parental leave before each child reaches the age of three. The duration of this leave is until the child reaches the age of three years old but may not exceed two years. (see Article 16 of the Act of Gender Equality in Employment). In this regard, the Regulations for Implementing Unpaid Parental Leave formulated by the Ministry of Labor previously provides that the duration of unpaid parental leave shall not be, in principle, less than six months each time. To encourage the parents to accompany their children when they are growing, the government amended the above regulations this time and allows application for unpaid parental leave “less than six months but not less than 30 days.” (see Article 2, Paragraph 3 of the Regulations for Implementing Unpaid Parental Leave). In addition, considering employer’s needs to deploy their manpower, the Ministry of Labor also added the requirement in the amendment that “an employee applying for unpaid parental leave shall apply to the employer in writing ’10 days in advance'” (see Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Regulations for Implementing Unpaid Parental Leave).
II. Salary subsidy for unpaid parental leave
Under the current law, an employee may, during unpaid parental leave, apply for parental leave allowance which is “calculated as 60% of the average insured monthly salary under the employment insurance program” with up to six months’ allowance in aggregate for each child (see Article 19-2 of the Employment Insurance Act). To enhance the economic support for employees during unpaid parental leave, the Ministry of Labor promulgated the Guidelines for Salary Subsidies for Unpaid Parental Leave, under which an employee that applies for the parental leave allowance pursuant to the Employment Insurance Act may also apply to the Labor Insurance Bureau for a salary subsidy for unpaid parental leave, which is calculated as” 20% of the average insured monthly salary under the employment insurance program” and is paid together with the parental leave allowance. The aggregate of the subsidy and allowance can reach 80% of the average insured monthly salary under employment insurance program.
In addition to the above amendments, the Executive Yuan also adopted the draft amendments to the Act of Gender Equality in Employment and the Employment Insurance Act on July 1 this year, allowing the parents of a double-income family to concurrently apply for unpaid parental leave. If the draft is adopted by the Legislative Yuan in the future, all employees may apply for unpaid parental leave regardless of whether their spouses are employed. In addition, if both parents are employed, they may concurrently apply for the parental leave allowance and the salary subsidy for unpaid parental leave.