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Taiwan: Bill Drafted to Give Extra Charges to Actual Service Providers

(Apr. 3, 2017) It was reported on March 26, 2017, that a Member of the Legislative Yuan (the main legislative body) of Taiwan has put forward draft legislation that would ensure service charges and cleaning fees charged to customers would be paid to the actual service providers instead of retained by employers as extra earnings.  (George Liao, Lawmaker Pushes Bill to Put Service Charges into Workers’ Pockets, TAIWAN NEWS (Mar. 26, 2017).)

According to legislator Arthur Chen, “many Taiwanese restaurants include five percent to 10 percent service charges on customer bills, and most of the employers have pocketed these extra earnings instead of sharing them with their workers, making service charge [sic] a veiled means to hike their prices.”  (Id.)  He noted, moreover, that most of Taiwan’s restaurant and related business workers, who number about 800,000, have never benefited from the fixed surcharges imposed by their employers on customers for the services that the workers provide.  Some restaurants and stores also charge cleaning fees that are not distributed to workers who do the cleaning, Chen added.  (Id.)

Chen’s proposal is to amend the Labor Standards Act to state clearly that those extra charges and fees are to be distributed to the service providers as wages.  (Id.; Labor Standards Act (adopted and promulgated on July 30, 1984, as last amended on Dec. 21, 2016), LAWS & REGULATIONS DATABASE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA (toggle on red “Ch” to view Chinese text).  For information on similar changes in Brazil, see Eduardo Soares, Brazil: Law to Regulate Payment to Employees of All Forms of Gratuities, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Mar. 17, 2017).)