“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” – Potter Stewart
As model citizens, we need to be familiar with the law so that we know our rights; this also means that we have the responsibility to make sure that we don’t abuse the law.
Did you know that in Taiwan, there is a law stating that any employee who gets married is entitled to eight (8) days of paid leave?
Taiwan Labor Protection 2.a states that:
Marriage Leave: Where an employee is getting married, he or she is entitled to eight days of paid leave.
How cool is that?
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy their honeymoon and get paid as well? It would definitely make any person’s wedding extra special.
Most of us who would read this law would already appreciate it, but some people would still want to gain more.
A couple from Taiwan thought of a plan that will not only maximize their leave but will also earn them lots of money.
The said bank employee tied the knot with his partner on April 6, 2020. Just after a few days, they decided to get divorced on April 16.
Then, to everyone’s surprise, the couple tied the knot the following day.
After a few days, on April 28, 2020, they filed for divorce.
On April 29, 2020, the couple tied the knot for the third time, only to divorce on May 11.
You’ve guessed it right, the following day, May 12, 2020, they got married for the fourth time.
Here is a detailed timeline of the couple’s wedding and divorce dates.
First wedding – April 6, 2020
First divorce – April 16, 2020
Second wedding – April 17, 2020
Second divorce – April 28, 2020
Third wedding – April 29, 2020
Third divorce – May 11, 2020
Fourth wedding – May 12, 2020
The couple went through all this trouble just to take advantage of their marriage leave law.
Over 37 days, this man and his wife maximized their marriage paid leave – expecting to enjoy a full month of paid vacation.
For them, this may look like a brilliant idea, but the truth is, it’s not.
Even if you know the law very well, it’s not right to use it for your selfish reasons. Of course, the man’s employer knew what his employee wanted.
Knowing that his employee was abusing the labor law, they refused to approve the man’s paid leave application.
They only approved the paid leave for his first marriage.
The groom couldn’t believe that his plan failed. So he filed a complaint with the Labor Department. He filed for violations of leave entitlements, and surprisingly, the bank was even fined $700 last October 2020.
This man thought that he knew the law very well and that he could just do what he pleases.
What he didn’t expect was that his employer filed for an appeal this February. His claim includes how his employee used the law to abuse his rights.
When the media discovered this bizarre and intriguing case, it quickly went viral.
There were many comments about the said issue.
Some said that the government should look into their law again, stating that their laws were full of loopholes.
People were also enraged by the audacity of the bank employee to abuse the law.
Last week, Taiwan’s Labor Department decided to revoke the fine against the bank.
“I’m stunned,” Huang Shan-shan, Taipei’s deputy mayor, posted on Facebook. “The law exists for the people and not for exploitation, profit or harm. Of course it is important to enforce the law, but not knowing when to be flexible is the real disaster!”
The benefit of having a marriage leave was given to all employees of Taiwan.
But again, as responsible citizens, we shouldn’t abuse this.
While it’s true that it’s very easy to see loopholes and ways on how you can ‘trick’ your government to gain more, you need to ask yourself first, is it the right thing to do?
What do you think about this couple’s plot?
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