A Taiwanese couple who got hitched last April found the “best” way to benefit from their nuptials – not by purchasing budget decorations or snagging venue deals, but by gaming the system to get free vacation days.
The South China Morning Post reported that in 37 days, the couple, who were not named in documents – married four times and divorced three times, exploiting a loophole in Taiwan’s labor laws, where an eight-day leave allowance is provided for newlyweds. By marrying four times, the man claimed 32 days worth of vacation days.
The bank refused to approve the man’s leave claims, however. According to The New York Times, he took the case to the Taipei city labor department, which ended up fining the bank NT$20,000 (around $710) for violating leave regulations.
This fine on the bank was revoked last week when the head of the Taipei City labor department said the city would re-examine the regulation to prevent the loophole from being exploited by other couples angling to get days off by marrying and divorcing each other.
According to Chinese media outlet Sohu, the duo first married on April 6 last year and divorced ten days later on April 10. They got hitched a second time one day later, on April 11, but filed for another divorce on April 28.
They repeated this cycle two more times, marrying on April 29 and divorcing, hopefully, for the third and last time – on May 11. The couple then wed for the fourth time on May 12 last year.
Taipei deputy mayor Huang Shanshan posted on Facebook that the Labor Bureau in Taiwan will need to re-evaluate the marriage leave policy to avoid it being abused. For now, if the man wishes, he can choose to remarry – and he’ll still be granted his leave entitlement. But this loophole won’t be there for much longer if the Taipei city government has anything to say about it.
“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 place that provides a leave entitlement for newlyweds. Malta allows employees to take two days off, and in Vietnam and China, it is not uncommon for people to apply to take three days off work when they wed.