Hire in Taiwan
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Taiwan.
New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
Key Country Facts
Taiwan’s political and legal statuses are contentious. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) claims the Republic of China (ROC) government is illegitimate, referring to it as the “Taiwan Authority.” However, the ROC continues to view itself as a sovereign state with its own constitution, independently-elected president and armed forces. Internationally, there is controversy over whether the ROC exists as a state or as a defunct state per international law. This is due to the loss of membership and recognition in the United Nations and a lack of diplomatic recognition globally.
Taiwan consists of several islands, covering a total area of 36,193 square kilometers. Smaller islands include the Penghu archipelago in the Taiwan Straits, the Kinmen, Matsu and Wuqiu islands near the Chinese coast. Taiwan also includes some of the South China Sea islands.
Taiwan’s climate is largely subtropical, except in the south where it is tropical. Winters are short and mild and summers are long and hot. July to September is typhoon season, while May and June are the rainiest months.
Taiwan’s culture can be described as traditional. It has been shaped by imperialism and colonization, mainly Chinese in origin. The culture tends to be patriarchal, with the family at the center of cultural activities. Taiwan’s business culture integrates elements of mainland Chinese and Japanese customs, which are heavily influenced by Confucianism. Thus, many Taiwanese companies are hierarchical in nature.
The aboriginal cultures of Taiwan represent 2% of the population of the island. There are 12 aboriginal tribes: the Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Thao, Saisiyat, Tsou, Kavalan, Truku and Yami.
Taiwan is very diversified in terms of religious beliefs, with the freedom of religion affirmed in the Constitution. Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Mormonism, Yiguandao, the Unification Church, Catholicism, Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy, Judaism, Hinduism, native sects (such as Yiguandao) and other religions are practiced.
Mandarin is the official national language and is spoken by the majority of Taiwan’s population. It has been the primary language of instruction in schools since Japanese rule ended. As is the case in Hong Kong and Macau, traditional Chinese is used as the writing system in Taiwan.
Taiwan HR at a Glance
Employment in Taiwan is governed under the Labor Standards Act (LSA), which establishes the minimum terms and conditions. The Civil Code covers terms and conditions in individual contracts for some occupations and industries not covered by the LSA. Conditions such as labor contracts, wages, work hours, leave, compensation, retirement and statutory benefits are covered in the LSA. Notably, the hiring of foreign nationals is governed by the Employment Services Act (ESA).
Written contracts are not mandatory, but most businesses use them and they are highly recommended. They must follow the requirements set out by the LSA. Upon mutual agreement, an employment contract can be conveyed in Chinese, English or any other language. In the case of any future disputes, a Chinese translation will be required.
The LSA suggests up to 13 items to be included in written contracts to outline the rights and obligations of employers and employees and to avoid disputes. Employers are required to meet or exceed the minimum terms of the LSA and other laws. Before changes to working conditions can be made, employers must seek agreement by a Labor Management Conference or Labor Union.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Article 20, employers shall request from the new employee a pre-employment physical examination prior to the start of employment. For existing employees, the following health examinations shall be conducted:
1. General health examinations.
2. Special health examinations for those involved in tasks with special health hazards.
3. Health examinations of specific items for specific targets workers as designated by the central competent authority.
Those aged under 40 will need to check every 5 years; aged between 40 and 65 will need to check every 3 years, and aged over 65 need to check every year. The employer must pay for this fee.
Any employer who has more than 30 employees is required to have written work rules. These work rules must be registered with the local labor authority.
Timesheets / Attendance Records
Employers must prepare and retain worker attendance records for five years. The attendance records must register the attendance of workers on a daily basis to the minute. Employers may not refuse when workers request duplicates or photocopies of the attendance records.
The probation period is generally three months in Taiwan. Per Article 16-1 of LSA, companies are not required to give advance notice.
Overtime work can be required for workers subject to LSA but the following types of workers may arrange their own conditions (e.g. working hours, regular days off, etc):
- Supervisory, administrative workers and professional workers with designated responsibilities
- Monitoring or intermittent jobs
- Other types of jobs of a special nature
Generally, employees can either choose compensatory leave or overtime payment for any required overtime payment or opt out by entering a flexible working hours arrangement. Employers must record employees’ work attendance.
The overtime calculation formula is subject to LSA Articles 24, 32, 36, 40. Working hours cannot exceed 12 in one day and the maximum overtime is 46 hours monthly. Overtime is paid at 134% for the eighth through 10th hours (daily) and 167% for the 10th through 12th hours (daily). Overtime performed on a “flex-day” is paid at 134% for the first two hours, 167% for the second through eighth hours and 267% for the eighth through 12th hours.
Often a 13th or even 14th month of salary is provided to Taiwanese employees. However, this is not required. The 13th and 14th month salaries are typically paid before the Chinese New Year Holiday. Festival bonuses may also be disbursed before the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Any employee termination in Taiwan must be executed pursuant to one or more of the specific causes outlined under Article 11 and 12 of the LSA. The employer must provide advance notice (or offer an amount of payment in lieu), severance pay and any outstanding payments or benefits where an employee is terminated for any of the causes stipulated under Article 11.
Employers: When notice and severance pay must be given, advance notice is provided based on length of service:
- 10 days’ notice for service of more than three months and less than one year
- 20 days’ notice for service of more than one year but less than three years
- 30 days’ notice for service of three years or more
Employees engaged in fixed-term contracts of over three years may be terminated when three years are completed. However, the employers must give 30 days’ notice.
Employers engaged in fixed-term contracts of less than three years are not permitted to terminate their contracts without meeting certain requirements or without the employer’s agreement.
When engaged in an indefinite-term contract, the employee must give the same amount of notice as employers.
Redundancy/ Severance Pay
Severance pay is required in cases of redundancy. This is calculated based on one month’s average wages for each year of service. The amount payable for each year of service will be equal to 50% of the employee’s average monthly wage. This can total up to a maximum of six month’s pay.
For severance payment in lieu of notice periods, the total payment must equal the total number of days in the required notice period multiplied by the employee’s daily wage.
Other Standard Items
Meal allowances can be provided for up to a maximum of TWD 2,400 per month. This type of allowance is exempt from individual income tax.
Group insurance, within TWD 2,000 per employee (and non-taxable income to employee) can be fully deducted as operating expenses. Other allowances are subject to PIT. Housing and travel allowances are also common.
Approximately 18.4% of base salary covers National Health Insurance (NHI), labor insurance, employment insurance and labor pension.
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
Individual resident taxpayers are taxed only on Taiwan-sourced income which includes business income, salaries (as well as allowances, bonuses and other compensation), severance pay, professional fees and commissions. Other income from dividends and interest that is derived from assets in Taiwan is also included.
Tax rates for 2022 Personal Income Tax returns:
|Taxable Income Over (TWD)||Taxable Income Not Over (TWD)||Tax Rate (%)
A resident individual must file an income tax return between May 1st and May 31st of the following year and pay any tax due.
Income tax: Employer Requirements
An employer is required to deduct and withhold income tax from employees. The employer is liable to administer the payment to the tax office for taxes withheld from employees before the 10th day of the following month.
National Health Insurance (NHI): The national health insurance contribution consists of 5.17% of the employee’s salary. It is allocated by the employee (30%), the government (10%) and the employer (60%).
The formula is: the salary base X the insurance premium rate X Contribution Ratio X (1 + number of dependents)
The number of dependents as of January 2020 is 0.58. Effective January 2022, the minimum monthly earnings amount is TWD 25,250.
Labor Insurance: Taiwanese legal entities with more than five employees must contribute labor insurance. Labor insurance benefits payment is divided into two main categories: ordinary risk insurance and occupational accident insurance.
Ordinary risk insurance includes five kinds of cash benefits: maternity, injury or sickness, disability, old-age and death benefits. Occupational accident insurance provides three types of benefits payable in cash: injury or sickness benefits, disability and death benefits as well as medical benefits. The insurance contribution of 10.5% is shared by the employers (70%), the employees (20%) and the government (10%). The maximum monthly insurance salary is TWD 45,800 (Percentages: employee 2.10%, employer 7.35%).
Employment Insurance: The insurance contribution of 1.0% is shared by the employers (70%), employees (20%) and the government (10%). The maximum monthly insurance salary is TWD 45,800 (Percentages: employee 0.2%, employer 0.7%). Employers with fewer than five employees are required to contribute 1% of pay per employee.
Labor Pension: Employers must contribute at least 6% of an employees’ monthly earnings. Employees can voluntarily contribute up to 6% of their wages. This must be deposited to a specific individual pension account. The amount is subject to a monthly earnings ceiling of TWD 150,000.
Wages Compensation Fund (in Article 28 of the Labor Standards Law): The employer must contribute 0.025% of the total insured wages to the wages compensation fund every month.
Supplementary NHI Premium: There is supplementary premium for additional income earned, such as bonuses and commissions.. Employers must contribute based on this formula: (Employee’s monthly taxable amount, minus NHI Insured Amount) x 2.11%.
Disabled Employment Fund: A monthly contribution to the Disabled Employment Fund is required for employers with more than 67 employees but who do not employ anyone with a disability.
|Social Security System
||Monthly Salary Cap (TWD)||Employer Contribution (%)||Employee Contribution Rate (%)||Government Contribution (%)|
|National Health Insurance (NHI)||219,500||4.90||1.55||0.82|
|Labor Pension||150,000||6.00 (minimum)||Voluntary 0.00 – 6.00 (maximum)||0.00|
|Workers’ Compensation (or Occupational Hazards Insurance)||72,800||0.06 – 2.97 (common rate = 0.21% x 60%)||0.00||0.00 (common rate = 0.21% x 40%)|
|Wages Compensation Fund (or Arrear Wage Payment Fund, added in Dec 2021)||45,800||0.025||0.00||0.00|
|Supplementary NHI Premium (on bonuses, commission)||45,800||2.11||–||–|
|Disabled Contribution Fund||TWD 600|
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged by GoGlobal will differ.
Salary payments are generally administered monthly. It is common practice to pay between the 25th and 31st day of the month or by the fifth day of the following month.
Payslips must be made available monthly online, as a PDF or by paper.
An employee in Taiwan can work no more than eight hours a day (not including overtime) and no more than 40 hours per week. He or she must enjoy at least two rest days every seven days, with one mandatory day off and one flexible rest day. An employee cannot agree to work on the mandatory rest day. With consent, the employee can work on the flexible rest day but higher overtime rates will apply.
Taiwan celebrates 10 to 15 public holidays. Generally, full-time employees will be paid for public holidays.
Some of the holidays are fixed dates and some are based on the lunar calendar. Employers and employees can agree to adjust these holidays to working days.
For employees who have commenced their employment:
- Over six months but less than one year ago: three days leave
- Over one year but less than two years ago: seven days leave.
- More than two years but less than three years ago: 10 days leave.
- More than three years but less than five years ago: 14 days leave.
- More than five years but less than 10 years ago: 15 days leave.
- Over 10 years: one additional day of leave (up to a maximum of 30 days)
Please refer to Article 38 of LSA for more details.
The company can offer a more favorable plan than the LSA requires. However, per the LSA, the employee has to work for the company for at least six months to become entitled to annual leave.
The employer and the employee can agree to carry over unused annual leave to the next year. However, any remaining annual leave must be converted into wages. This sum must be paid to the employee at the end of the second year or when the employment contract has been completed. If the employer and the employee do not agree to carry over unused annual leave to the following year or if the employment contract is terminated, one day’s regular wages must be paid for each day of unused annual leave remaining.
Employers must notify their employees on an annual basis of their annual leave entitlements as well as the total amount to be paid when it comes to unused annual leave. This information must be recorded in each employee’s salary roll. Employees should be notified prior to the period when wages are usually paid each year. This notification can be done in writing or electronically. The employee must be able to readily access and print out the information.
- If an employee receives medical service or rest on account of ordinary injury, sickness or physical reasons, they are entitled to ordinary sickness leave according to the following provisions:
- For the non-hospitalized: a total of less than thirty days in one year
- For the hospitalized: not exceeding one year
- The total of hospitalized and non-hospitalized sick leave must not exceed one year
- If an employees is diagnosed with cancer (including carcinoma in situ) or pregnancy with threatened abortion, the out-patient treatment period is included as hospitalized sick leave
- When employees take sick leave, they receive 50% of their regular pay from the employer. In cases where the insured person has at least one full year of insurance coverage prior to the occurrence of the injury or sickness, such benefits are payable for an additional six months. Any cash sickness benefit provided by labor insurance that is less than 50% must be made up by the employer. The combined number of sick days taken generally cannot exceed one year within a two-year period. At their discretion, employers can grant more leave beyond the one-year period. Alternatively, they can choose to terminate the employment relationship.
- Employees can take additional unpaid leave with the employer’s approval if their paid sick leave and annual leave allowances have already been used. The employer can grant the employee a leave of absence without pay for a maximum period of one year.
Maternity & Parental Leave
- Female employees are entitled to maternity leave before and after childbirth for a combined period of eight weeks.
- If the employee has more than six months of service, she is entitled to full pay during her maternity leave.
- If she has been working less than six months, the employee is entitled to half-pay.
- A male employee has the right to five days’ paid paternity leave when the mother of his child gives birth.
Pregnancy Checkup Leave
During an employee’s term of pregnancy, their employer shall grant seven days of leave for pregnancy checkups.
Parental leave: Employees with children under the age of three are eligible for up to two years of unpaid leave for the care of the child. Leave must be for a minimum of six months. Employees covered by labor insurance with more than one year of coverage are eligible for a parental allowance.
Family leave: Employers with more than five employees must grant employees seven days of paid leave per year for the personal care of family members.
Personal leave: Employees are also entitled to additional days of paid leave, including eight days for marriage and three to eight days upon the death of a relative. The latter will depend on the relationship. Employees may receive a maximum of 14 days of unpaid leave annually for personal business. Employees must be granted leave if called for military duty.
Benefits to the Employee in Taiwan
Overall working hours cannot exceed 12 hours a day, including regular working hours plus overtime hours. Allowed overtime hours are capped at 46 hours per month. Taiwan’s amended Labor Standards Act stipulates overtime can now be calculated over a consecutive three-month period by employers and may not exceed 54 hours in one month and 138 hours in three months.
The overtime payment calculations for overtime work performed on workdays are as follows:
- Between eight and up to 10 hours: 1.34 times the regular hourly wage
- Over 10 hours and up to 12 hours: 1.67 times the regular hourly wage
The new overtime payment calculations for overtime work completed by employees on flexible rest days are as follows:
- Between zero and up to two hours: 1.34 times the regular hourly wage
- Over two hours and up to eight hours: 1.67 times the regular hourly wage
- Over eight hours and up to 12 hours: 2.67 times the regular hourly wage
Benefits and Pensions
Taiwan’s Labor Pension Act (LPA) requires employers to make monthly contributions equal to no less than 6% of pay to employees’ LPA sub-account. Employees can contribute no more than 6% of pay on a voluntary basis in order for it to be tax deductible. LPA outlines the normal retirement as 60 years of age. Benefits can be paid under annuity form for LPA participation of no less than 15 years. A survivors benefit or retirement benefit with less than 15 years of LPA participation will be made in lump sum.
Other common employee benefits arranged by employers include:
- Leaving service benefits (LSB)
- Life, accident and business travel insurance
- Housing allowances
- Festival bonuses
Meal allowances can be provided for up to a maximum of TWD 2,400 per month and are exempt from individual income tax.
Housing allowances are mainly provided to expatriates and some senior level executives. Most multinational companies provide these enhanced benefits to attract and retain local talent.
Medical benefits are usually offered to employees’ spouses and their dependent children.
Generally, to account for the total cost of the employee, it is recommended to budget about 20% for benefit costs on top of the gross salary.
Visas and Foreign Workers
Foreign employees need a valid work permit to work in Taiwan. They can apply for a residence permit after the work permit has been approved. Foreigners who have a valid offer letter to work in Taiwan but have not obtained a visa must apply for a residence visa before entering Taiwan. Those who have registered for the normal expansion visa can apply to convert the residence visa with the National Immigration Bureau Visas (NIA). Foreign employees who have obtained a residence permit must apply for an alien residence permit (ARC) within 15 days after their arrival date.
The procedure is generally as follows:
Work Permit: The employer must submit an application to the Council of Labor Affairs for a work permit. The work permit is typically issued for a six month period of validity, although it may be extended up to a maximum period of three years. For the application of the work permit, there are two job categories: specialized or technical workers and managerial employees. For the employer to be eligible to hire managerial employees, there are more stringent revenue requirements. In addition, different types of employment require different documents.
Visa: Once the work permit has been approved by the Ministry of Labor, the foreign worker must apply for a work visa from an Overseas Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The visa allows the employee to reside in Taiwan for the duration of employment.
Resident Certificate: Once the employee receives the work permit from the employer and has visa clearance, he or she can travel to Taiwan. The employee must obtain an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), which is proof the visa may be used for day-to-day activities without the need for a passport while the employee is in Taiwan. The ARC also enables multiple re-entries, which must be presented at immigration checkpoints if the employee intends to enter and exit Taiwan. This is handled through a local National Immigration Agency (NIA) in Taiwan and must be completed within 15 days of arriving in Taiwan.
Medical Examination: Within three days of arriving in Taiwan, the foreign worker must undergo a medical examination if it is his or her first time traveling to Taiwan. This can be done at a local Center for Disease Control.
Application for Employee Insurance: Once the employee has obtained the work permit, visa and Alien Resident Permit, he or she is able to work for the employer. However, the employer must take further measures and registration steps within three days of receiving the ARC. Otherwise, they will be subject to a small fine.
Additionally, within three days of the worker’s arrival, the employer must apply for an entrance report at the local department of city government. This must be done, or the employer’s recruitment permit and the employer’s work permit can be annulled. The employer must also apply for the coverage enrollment of National Health Insurance within three days from the date the ARC is issued. This is completed through Taiwan’s Bureau of National Health Insurance.
Public Holidays in 2022
|1||New Year’s Day||January 1st|
|2||Chinese New Year||January 29th – February 6th|
|3||Peace Memorial Day||February 28th|
|4||Tomb Sweeping Festival||April 2nd – 5th|
|5||Labour Day||May 1st|
|6||Dragon Boat Festival||June 3rd|
|7||Mid-Autumn Festival||September 9th|
|8||National Day||October 10th|
*If a public holiday falls on a rest day (typically Sunday) or another public holiday, the next working day will be a holiday in substitution.