The Transformation of Work-Family Balance Policies in Taiwan

The aim of this paper is to explore the transformation of work-family balance policies in Taiwan in recent ten years. In response to the changes of circumstances in family structure, labour market, fertility pattern, and so on, the Taiwanese government has implemented a series of policy changes to facilitate work-family balance. These policies involve the restructuring of childcare responsibilitiesbetween the state, the family,and the market.

The focus of this paper will be on two policy areas: leave policies and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policies. The main issues which this paper attempts to address are the forms of changes in the two policy areas and the factors which lead to these changes. In terms of leave policies, this paper will review the enactment of Gender Equality in Employment Law and the implementation of parental leave benefit. It will compare the policy making processes of the two policies and analyse the factors which make them different.  In the area of ECEC policies, this paper willillustrate the development of ECEC policies in three policy dimensions: finance, regulation, and provision. Moreover, it will provide explanations on why thesepolicies show different levels of changes in the three dimensions.

This paper will explain policy changes through the perspectives of institutions and ideas. It aims to explore how previous policy framework, policy ideas and discourses, and the interaction between them affect the policy making. The findings of this paper would be helpful to understand the transformation of the Taiwanese welfare system and the process of welfare reform.