Tsai, P.Y (2012) The Transformation of Leave Policies for Work-Family Balance in Taiwan. Asian Women, 28(2). (SSCI)
This paper examines the development of leave policies in Taiwan in the 2000s. With the changes in gender roles, family patterns, and demographic structure, the Taiwanese government has implemented leave policy changes to respond to the difficulties in work-family balance and the declining fertility rate.
The development of leave policies in Taiwan can be generally divided into two stages according to the dimensions of policy changes. At the first stage, the changes were mostly on provision and regulatory framework. The enactment of the GEEL in 2002 introduced several new regulations on employers to provide paternity leave, family leave, parental leave, and flexible working time arrangements. At the second stage, the dimension of policy change moved to the reallocation of financial responsibilities, particularly the implementation of parental leave benefit. There were two important factors which made the reallocation of financial responsibilities feasible in the second stage. Firstly, the launch of the Employment Insurance provided the financial resources for policy makers to convert existing institutions to meet new needs. Secondly, the growing concern for the low fertility rate in Taiwan strengthened the imperative to redistribute financial responsibilities in leave policies to address this problem.
After the changes in the 2000s, the responsibilities of employers in providing leave arrangements have been expanded. The state also strengthened its role in regulation. In terms of the dimension of finance, a large percentage of financial responsibilities have been transferred from families to employers and the state, mainly through the adoption of existing social insurance schemes. Overall, the pattern of leave policies in Taiwan is transforming from the stress on family responsibilities toward more employer and state responsibilities.