The spread of COVID-19 has hit industries in Taiwan, leading some companies to enforce unpaid leave, cut down on work hours or even lay off staff, a survey by online recruitment agency 104 Job Bank showed on Thursday.
The survey focused on the virus’ effect on the job market, with multiple responses available for each question.
It showed that 84.3 percent of respondents reported an unaffected work schedule, 5.6 percent said their company had encouraged unpaid leave and 5 percent reported suspension of recruitment despite job vacancies at their company.
Two point four percent reported reduced work hours, 2.4 percent said their work had become part-time and 2.3 percent said staff had been laid off, the survey showed.
Asked about workplace concerns amid the pandemic, 20 percent said catching the virus at work, 22 percent said unpaid leave, 16 percent said layoffs and 14.8 percent said having to take on multiple tasks due to insufficient workers, it showed.
Recruitment appears to be lively, 104 Job Bank vice president Chung Wen-hsiung (鍾文雄) said, adding that as of this month, unfilled job positions on its Web site were 659,000, with a record 34,000 employers looking for staff.
While recruitment is a “long battle” for businesses, the pandemic has not reduced openings for people seeking to change jobs after the Lunar New Year and those who are soon to graduate, Chung said.
The information and communications technology, software and semiconductor industries have a consistent demand for employees, with vacancies up about 5 percent from the same period last year, he said.
The entertainment, transportation, travel and hospitality, and catering industries have been hit harder by the outbreak than the high-tech sector, he said.
Regulations say that corporations must negotiate with labor representatives before reducing work hours and the legal minimum wage of NT$23,800 per month must be paid, he said.
People on unpaid leave can attend training courses provided by their company and get a subsidy of up to NT$18,960 for participating, he said, adding it is also a good time for people to enhance foreign-language proficiency or learn other skills, which can help when changing jobs or negotiating raises.
The survey collected 1,081 valid samples nationwide via online questionnaires from Tuesday to Saturday last week and has a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points.
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