The Ministry of Labor promulgated rules to enhance the confidentiality of informants in reported labor cases(Taiwan)

Melanie Lo

The Ministry of Labor promulgated the Rules for the Confidentiality and Handling of Reported Cases under the Labor Standards Law (hereinafter, the “Rules”) via the MOL-Lao-Dong-One-1060130982 Directive of May 15, 2017. Consisting of 9 articles, the Rules came into effect on the day of their promulgation.

The Ministry of Labor is authorized under Article 74, Paragraph 7 of the Labor Standards Law to prescribe rules for the confidentiality of reported cases as accepted and other matters to be followed. The Rules for the Confidentiality and Handling of Reported Cases under the Labor Standards Law are formulated specifically to stipulate matters such as the submission of reported cases, the notification of handling status, the confidentiality of informants’ identity information and the management of files so that competent authorities or inspection agencies can thoroughly follow confidentiality and relevant requirements when accepting reported cases.

Article 3, Paragraph 1 of the Rules specifically provides that when a violation of the Labor Standards Law or any other labor law or regulation is reported, such report may be submitted in writing or orally. Paragraph 5 of the same article provides that if a report is erroneously made to an agency without inspection authority, such agency shall refer this case to the agency with jurisdiction.

Article 6 of the Rules provides that an agency which accepts a reported case shall basically maintain the confidentiality of the name and contact information of the informant and other information sufficient to identify such informant and shall prohibit third parties from reviewing or copying such information, except that (1) the same reported matter has been learned by, or is discernable to, the reported party in the course of mediation, arbitration or adjudication under the Labor Dispute Handling Law or civil action brought pursuant to law; and (2) the informant or the reported party of the case believes there is no need to hold it in confidence. The circulation, custody, filing and archiving of a reported case shall be handled by dedicated personnel or by the supervisor of a file management unit. If any potential leakage of an informant’s identity is detected, this matter should be reported to the head of the agency or his/her authorized personnel, and the civil service ethics office should be informed to help take emergency measures.