When you compare how much vacation time people around the world get, those in the United States are often considered to get the short end of the stick. And considering that we, along with the people of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Tonga are not guaranteed any paid vacation time by federal or state mandate, that might be true.
Of course, most Americans are granted some paid vacation time (According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 77% of private employers offer paid vacation to their employees); it’s just significantly lower than those of most other countries (as per Wikipedia, the average number of paid vacation days offered by private employers in the U.S. is 10 days after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years, and 20 days after 20 years. Meanwhile, people in Algeria, Bahrain, Panama, Peru and others are entitled to 30 days per year).
Citizens of Taiwan are entitled to 3 vacation days after working 6 months to a year, 7 days after 1 year of employment, 10 days after 2 years, 14 days following 3 to 4 years of working there, 15 days after 5 to 9 years, and one additional day per year until they reach the maximum of 30 days (10+ years). They also get 12 paid holidays.
However, Taiwan’s labor laws also allow 8 days of leave for newlyweds. And a newlywed couple figured out how to use that loophole to their advantage.
According to the South China Morning Post, an unnamed bank employee decided to see how much he could get away with in terms of that rule. So in the course of 37 days in the spring of 2020, he and his new wife got married 4 times and divorced 3 times.
- April 6 – married
- April 16 – divorced
- April 17 – married
- April 28 – divorced
- April 29 – married
- May 11 – divorced
- May 12 – married
In the process, he claimed 32 “honeymoon” days – 8 days for each “new” marriage.
His employer, not surprisingly, said, “Nope” to all but the first 8 days requested, so the man appealed to Taipei’s Labor Department. They, in turn, fined the employer NT$20,000 (US$670 or so) for violating the country’s leave regulations. But that was before they got an idea of what the guy was actually doing.
Once they caught wind that he was gaming the system, the fine on the bank was revoked.
In return, the employee (who eventually quit working for the bank) contacted the Labor Department with complaints that his former employer still owed him 24 days of leave (as per an official who didn’t want to be named). Because big cajones, I guess.
Taipei Labor Dep’t said the city would reexamine the regulation to prevent something like this from happening again.
“In this case, it is clear that the employee used the marriage leave and exploited a loophole to benefit from it. The laws exist for the benefit of the people, and people should not act in bad faith,” said Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shanshan.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary