Taiwanese couple gets married four times in 37 days to maximise leave
- Bank worker appealed to Labour Department after employer balked at his claim
- Employer was initially fined for violating rules, but after heated criticism the fine was revoked
The unusual story, confirmed by Taipei’s Labour Department on Wednesday, is the latest to go viral and highlight innovative, if somewhat bizarre, loophole wrangling by Taiwanese citizens.
But an unnamed bank employee decided to game the system last year, claiming 32 days of leave using a novel ruse.
Over a period of 37 days, he and his wife got married four times and divorced three times, claiming the full eight days for each of their nuptials.
The bank balked and the employee appealed to Taipei’s Labour Department, which initially fined his employer NT$20,000 (US$670) for violating the leave regulations.
That was because as far as the law goes, there is currently no restriction on how often an employee can apply for marriage leave.
The bank, which was only willing to offer eight days off, said the man had “abused” the law.
The case has sparked heated online criticism of the bank employee for taking advantage of legal loopholes and the Labour Department for issuing the fine.
“Unbelievable, this guy is like playing house with his marriages and divorces. What if he wants to get married and divorced every day? He should be granted sick leave rather than marriage leave,” read one social media post.
Last week the Labour Department revoked the fine against the bank “to recognise a mistake and improve”, it said in a statement.
Not to be deterred, the employee, who later quit the bank, has called the Labour Department to complain that his former employer still owes him 24 days of leave, said an official who asked not to be named.
The case has been compared to the so-called salmon chaos that swept Taiwan last month when over a hundred people, mostly youngsters, legally changed their given names to “Gui Yu” or salmon.
Changing one’s name in Taiwan is relatively hassle-free and those making the move were taking advantage of a restaurant promotion offering free sushi to anyone with salmon in their name.
Some of the salmon-themed names people chose included “Salmon Prince”, “Salmon Fried Rice” and “Bao Cheng Gui Yu” – literally, Explosive Good Looking Salmon.