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Taiwan: Proposal to Raise Minimum Wage

(Aug. 13, 2012) Taiwan’s Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), a Cabinet-level agency in charge of labor matters at the national level, announced on August 9, 2012, that Taiwan’s minimum hourly wage will be increased in two phases, from NT$103 (about US$3.44) to NT$109 (about US$3.64) on January 1, 2013, and then to at least NT$115 (about US$3.84) as of January 1, 2014, provided that the domestic and global economies see “no major changes.” (Grace Kuo, CLA Greenlights Raising Taiwan’s Minimum Wage, TAIWAN TODAY (Aug. 10, 2012); About CLA: Organization and Manpower, CLA website (2012).)

The minimum monthly wage is slated to rise from NT$18,780 (about US$626) to NT$19,407 in 2013, a 1.42% increase. The increase is based on last year’s Consumer Price Index. (Kuo, supra; The Basic Wage Recommendation Is to Raise the Initial Setting by 1.42%, and Adjust the Monthly Salary to 19,047 Yuan; The Hourly Salary Principle Is Adjustment Divided into Two Stages, with Adjustment in the First Stage to 109 Yuan, and Adjustment in the Second Stage to 115 Yuan [in Chinese], Council of Labor Affairs website (Aug. 9, 2012).)

The suggested changes in the minimum wage were made by the Basic Wage Deliberation Committee (Pen Kung-tzu Shen-i Wei-yuan-hui), established in 2007. The Committee is comprised of representatives from academia, labor, management, and the government and meets annually to review the minimum wage. According to CLA Minister Wang Ju-hsuan, the Committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) for approval.

The current minimum hourly wage in the United States, in effect since 2009, is $7.25, but that rate would be raised to $9.80 an hour by 2014, if the proposed U.S. Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012, introduced on July 26, 2012, is adopted. (Tim Gallen, Federal Minimum Wage Would Reach $9.80 an Hour After Proposed Increase, PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL (July 26, 2012); for a comparative table of some minimum wage rates in selected jurisdictions (but without the relative cost of living in each), see Table 5-7: The Minimum Wages, CLA website (2012) (last visited Aug. 10, 2012).)