As of Sunday, 1,330 companies in Taiwan had placed a total of 26,323 employees on unpaid leave, Ministry of Labor statistics released yesterday showed.
That translates to an increase of 45 companies and 3,823 employees from a total of 1,285 companies and 22,500 employees on Monday last week.
The manufacturing sector reported an increase of 1,602 workers on unpaid leave in the past week, bringing the total to 11,771 people and accounting for nearly half of all furloughed employees, Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment Deputy Director Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) said.
The manufacturing sector has been the hardest hit in the past few months, as orders have dwindled from countries that have imposed lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Huang said.
The transportation and storage sector accounted for the largest increase in workers on unpaid leave in the past week at 2,167 — all of whom came from one local airline, the ministry said.
That brought the sector’s total of workers on furlough to 3,046, the ministry added.
Most of the companies using the unpaid leave system in the past few months have workforces of fewer than 50 people, who have been required to take an extra day or two off per week because of the effects of the pandemic, it said.
The figures only cover companies that have reached furlough agreements with employees and have reported them to the ministry.
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