» 7th Anniversary of Implementing the Employment Insurance Unpaid Parental Leave Allowance—390,000 Have Benefited
7th Anniversary of Implementing the Employment Insurance Unpaid Parental Leave Allowance—390,000 Have Benefited
Taiwan has evolved into an aging society with marginal birthrates, a population hazard that directly impacts the future labor and competitive capacities of this nation. To fully implement the childcare policy of unpaid parental leave as stipulated in the Act of Gender Equality in Employment, under the concerted efforts of the government administration, the Legislative Yuan passed provisions that clearly stipulate unpaid parental leave allowance in the Employment Insurance Act, and which were promulgated on May 1, 2009. Thereafter, all laborers who participate in employment insurance are entitled to unpaid parental leave before their child/children attain the age of three and to claim allowances from the Bureau of Labor Insurance (BLI) amounting to 60% of their average monthly insurance salaries during the period of leave. This enables employed laborers to care for their children with security and assurance, and achieve a balance between career and family responsibilities. Since its implementation 7 years ago, more than 395,000 persons have benefited from the policy, with total allowances of over NT$36 billion distributed over the period.
As laws become increasingly flexible and social values gradually transform, the number of laborers who apply for unpaid parental leave allowance continues to be on the rise. According BLI statistics, prior to 2011, approximately 36% of female employed laborers who applied for maternity benefits also claimed unpaid parental leave allowances. The percentage grew to 60% of female laborer applicants by the year 2015. The unpaid parental leave allowance policy also encourages men to engage in childcare, exemplified by the rising number of male applicants, which grew from 4,808 the year the policy became effective to an accumulated number of over 66,000 persons to date. This demonstrates that male insured persons are gradually attaching greater importance to childcare.
Furthermore, to provide members of the labor force with more efficient and convenient services in parental allowance application and continuous insurance enrollment, in October 2015 the BLI published the latest version of the “Parental Leave Allowance Application Form, Benefits Receipt and Continuous Insurance Enrollment Application Form” so that applicants may complete both “Unpaid Parental Leave Allowance” and “Unpaid Parental Leave Continuous Enrollment” applications in one single process. By checking "Agree to continue enrollment" on the application form, applicants will be able to continue their enrollment in ordinary insurance of labor insurance and employment insurance during their period of unpaid parental leave, so as to benefit from these coverages (e.g. those insured who become pregnant again during the period of insurance renewal are entitled to the maternity benefits and unpaid parental leave allowances of the ensuing childbirth) and continue accumulating their insured durations. For the entire duration of unpaid parental leave, employers are not required to pay the insurance premiums for employees on leave, while laborers may elect to postpone premium payments for up to three years, thereby effectively relieving their financial burdens during a time of need. Due to the implementation of these convenient services, the number of insured who apply for both unpaid parental leave allowances and continuous enrollment has not only incremented from 50% to 80% but continues to be on the rise.
Parents who are both eligible for the application of unpaid parental leave allowances may first request leave from their employers then apply for allowances provided their respective periods of allowances received do not overlap. Each pair of parents may apply for a total of 12 months of unpaid parental leave allowance per child. For further information on the Employment Insurance Unpaid Parental Leave Allowance, please refer to the “FAQ of Unpaid Parental Leave Allowances” section on the homepage of the Bureau of Labor Insurance Global Website (http://goo.gl/5JJCa4).