The Ministry of Labor issued the Lao-Dong-Three-1050132134 Circular of September 10, 2016 (hereinafter, the “Circular”) to interpret the provisions of Article 36 of the Labor Standards Law, which provides that there shall be at least a regular holiday each week and stipulates the principle and exceptions concerning the requirement that workers shall not work continuously for over six days.
The Circular first points out that Article 36 of the Labor Standards Law provides: “There shall be at least one rest day as a regular holiday for a worker every seven days.” The arrangement for such regular holiday shall be based on seven days as a cycle. In each cycle, there shall be at least one regular holiday. Therefore, a worker basically shall not work continuously for over six days.
However, this Circular further points out that if it is necessary for workers to work continuously for over six days due to: (1) annual holidays, memorial days, the Labor Day or other holidays designated by the central competent authority when the butchery industry or transportation industry that provides passenger transportation services need to provide convenience for the lives of the public; (2) special characteristics of the work locations of the workers (such as at sea, in high mountains or remote areas) where transportation is very time-consuming; and (3) performance of duties by the workers in foreign countries, vessels, aircraft, government-sponsored examination preparation areas, or power plants, the employers may, subject to the prior consent of the workers, properly adjust the original regular holidays within two cycles so that the period of continuous work can be increased up to 12 days. This Circular also provides a sample letter of consent for the reference of employers.
This Circular further explains that after the regular holidays of workers are adjusted, the employers should take into account the health and safety of workers if they are asked to work continuously over six days. After the reasons for adjusting regular holidays no longer exist, workers should not work continuously for over six days.
This Circular came into effect on October 1, 2016.