Last April, a couple from Taiwan married and divorced four times in the span of 37 days in order to benefit from a work benefit that entitled the man to a honeymoon holiday. His employer was willing to give him eight days of paid vacation so he could celebrate his honeymoon. Instead, the man gamed the system by marrying and divorcing his wife multiple times over the course of the “honeymoon,” so he could claim thirty-two days of honeymoon leave.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the Taiwanese couple spent their 37-day honeymoon exploiting a loophole in Taiwan’s labor laws. Although the name of the couple has not been published, it is clear that they were able to find a loophole and take advantage of it by marrying and divorcing in quick succession to get free vacation days from the employer.
Under the rules of his employer, the man was entitled to eight vacation days for being a newlywed. By divorcing and remarrying multiple times, the man was able to claim thirty-two days of vacation time under Taiwan labor laws.
However, the man’s employer, a bank, refused to approve his claim for thirty-two days of vacation time. The man refused to let the bank win, so he could make his case to the Taipei city labor department and won. Now, the bank was fined about $710 for violating leave regulations. So, it seems that the man was able to successfully get the system to benefit him by bending the laws in his favor.
However, the city of Taipei revoked the fine on the bank and assured the employer that they would take a closer look at their labor laws to make sure another person is not able to exploit the loophole like this again.
A report on China’s news outlet, Sohu, indicated that the couple divorced and remarried in quick succession to benefit from the labor law loophole. They were first married on April 6, 2020. They divorced days later, on April 16, only to get married a second time one day later, on April 17. They filed for divorce again on April 28. They married again on April 29 and then divorced for a third and final time on May 11. The couple finally tied the knot for the final time on May 12, 2020.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shanshan confirmed in a Facebook post that the Taiwanese labor bureau would need to reexamine its marriage-leave protocol because this couple clearly abused its generosity.
“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,” Huang said.
Taiwan is not the only progressive country to provide paid time off for newlyweds. There are other Asian countries that offer this generous benefit, including Malta, which gives newlyweds two days of paid leave. In Vietnam and China, newlyweds commonly take off three days from work after tying the knot.
What do you think about this couple’s trick?
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