Tue, Sep 20, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Numbers on unpaid leave rise amid slow economy

Staff writer, with CNA

The number of workers on unpaid leave in Taiwan in the first half of this month increased by 118 from the second half of last month amid a slow economy, government statistics showed yesterday.

As of Thursday last week, 662 workers were on furlough, compared with 544 in the final two weeks of last month, Ministry of Labor data showed.

The number of employers who were on unpaid leave programs as of Thursday last week was 26, the same as in the second half of last month, the ministry said.

Six employers terminated such programs, while six others initiated them in the first two weeks of this month, the statistics showed.

Amid the economic slowdown, employers have been asking workers to take one to four days of unpaid leave per month for up to three months, the ministry said.

Most companies with employees on unpaid leave were small enterprises with a workforce of fewer than 50, the ministry said.

The government releases data on furloughs twice per month to update the local labor market situation, particularly in light of Taiwan’s declining exports amid weak global demand.

In a bid to help workers on unpaid leave, the government has implemented a NT$20 billion (US$635.9 million) training program to help with skills upgrades.

People in the program receive a stipend of NT$100 per hour to help meet their living expenses, up to a maximum of NT$12,000 per month.

Employees can take online training courses that are available on the ministry’s Skill Evaluation Center Web site, the ministry said.

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