Number of workers on unpaid leave rises to 524

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Aug 02, 2016 - Page 4

The number of workers on unpaid leave in the second half of last month increased from the first two weeks as the local economy remained sluggish, government statistics showed yesterday.

As of the end of last month there were 524 workers on furlough, compared with 402 on July 15, the Ministry of Labor said.

The number of employers who had unpaid leave programs in place on Sunday was 23, up from 21 in the first half of the month, the ministry said.

In the final two weeks of last month, three employers terminated their unpaid leave programs, but five others initiated new furloughs, the ministry said.

Most of the firms that had employees on unpaid leave were small enterprises in the metal and electromechanical industries with workforces of fewer than 50 employees, the ministry’s data showed.

Affected by the economic slowdown, those employers have been asking their workers to take one to four days of unpaid leave per month, the ministry said.

It said the government has implemented a NT$20 billion (US$632 million) program to offer training to the affected employees to upgrade their skills.

The trainees receive a stipend of NT$100 per hour to help meet their living expenses, up to a maximum of NT$12,000 per month, the ministry said.