Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday request

To be a desirable company, paid holidays is one of the criteria, but actually how many people can take their holiday without worrying of being given a bad score on the annual performance record which is critical for promotion or even worse being sacked. Basically, bosses in Taiwan are spoiled and they don't like employees taking holidays for three reasons. First, despite the representative system, no one can 100% cover the others' duties especially for those well organized big companies. Everyone is assigned to specific jobs and the overlap is small. Taking a long holiday might jeopardise the process of a project, so it's difficult for them to take a long vacation. Second, even works can be covered 100% by others, taking a holiday would shorten the manpower thus the production rate drops, that's not what big bosses like to see. Third, bosses simply don't like the idea of the paid holiday; why should I pay somebody even if he/she isn't at work? So making a holiday request is an art in Taiwan. I can't help wondering... was Taiwan's economical miracle built on such exploitation? and was the stereotype of Taiwanese as workaholics a factor in this vicious cycle?

The system of job responsibility is a blessing for those whose working hours are irregular, however in Taiwan this system is a punishment for those who do have responsibilities. Because of their sense of responsibility, workers wouldn't take holidays in the middle of a project and projects never stop coming! For those who follow the clock in and out system get compensation if over work is inevitable. Also, because of their regular working hours, they are considered as eligible laborers who are protected by the labors law. By law companies must transfer 6% of employee's salary to their account as retirement pension. However, this system doesn't apply to those whose working hours are irregular, despite the fact that they pay labor insurance every month. Of course, there is no labor day for them either.

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