Question 138: When Employers temporarily suspend Employees’ jobs for over 15 days? Are Employers required to make salary advance during suspension if Employees do not request any such advance?

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1.When Employers temporarily suspend Employees’ jobs for over 15 days?

Pursuant to Article 129 of the Labor Code, Employers are entitled to temporarily suspend Employees’ jobs if they consider the violation includes complicated circumstances and Employees’ job continuation will prevent any verification; and the suspension is only carried out after consultation with the grassroots trade union. In cases where it has not yet been set up, some comments thereon must be obtained from the immediate superior trade union. The suspension duration must not exceed 15 days and any special case must not exceed 90 days. Thus, Employers are entitled to temporarily suspend Employees’ jobs for more than 15 days but not for more than 90 days in special cases.

However, not a prevailing legal document covers the special cases. Accordingly, Employers may explain the special case by applying similarly to cases of extending the statute of limitations for disciplinary action in accordance with Article 124.1 of the Labor Code, i.e. violations directly related to finance, properties, disclosure of technology and business secrets and those as defined in Article 126.1 of the Labor Code including theft, embezzlement, gambling, intentional injury, drug use within the workplace, disclosure of technology and business secrets, infringement upon Employers’ intellectual property rights, acts of causing serious damage or threatening to cause particularly serious damage to Employers’ assets and interests.

In addition, in fact, almost all special or complicated cases arise from the main reason that any evidence collection is difficult or time-consuming. Therefore, Employer should anticipate those cases and concretise them in the internal labour regulations to facilitate any suspension.

2. Are Employers required to make salary advance during suspension if Employees do not request any such advance?

As generally provided for by the Labor Code and in light of the semantic aspect of its legal provisions, legislators do emphasise the compulsory nature implying that Employers are obliged to pay salary without depending on Employees’ request.