According to a court document published by the Taipei City Department of Legal Affairs, an unnamed bank employee and his partner married each other four times and divorced three times over the span of 37 days in April and May last year. These are not Vegas-style impulse weddings; they were part of a calculated, if extreme, move to maximize paid work leave.
According to Article 2 of Taiwan’s Labor Leave Rules, companies are legally required to grant employees eight days of paid marriage leave.
The couple first got married on April 6, 2020 and divorced just 10 days after, only to wed again the next day. They would do this again two more times, until a final wedding on May 12 of the same year. The man was granted his eight days of paid leave for the first wedding but expected to get an additional 24 days for his marriage/divorce plot.
Recognizing that the man tried to game the leave system, the bank refused to approve the 24 additional days of leave. This prompted the man to file a formal complaint against his employer with the Taipei Department of Labor. In October, the bank was fined NT$20,000 ($712) for violating labor standards.
The bank appealed this decision and in February, the Administrative Appeals Commission ordered the Department of Labor to repeal its initial ruling and revise the penalty meted out to the bank within 60 days.
According to Taiwanese news outlet Central News Agency, the Taipei Department of Labor said that it would no longer fine the bank.
The bizarre case was shared across Taiwanese social media, with some likening it to the time in March when people started changing their names to “salmon” for free sushi.
The wedding fiasco even prompted a local leader to weigh in.
“I’m honestly quite speechless,” Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang said in a Facebook post on April 13. “This is why the government needs to be supervised, and why we need to build a mature civil society.”
“In this case, it is obvious that the employee was exploiting paid marriage leave for his own benefit,” she added.
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