The number of workers placed on furlough by their employers has increased slightly in the past week amid a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert, the Ministry of Labor said yesterday.
Ministry data showed that 4,125 employees were on unpaid leave, an increase of 200 from Monday last week.
The number of companies implementing unpaid leave programs also rose in the past week, from 414 to 445, the data showed.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The government on May 19 raised the COVID-19 alert level in response to a surge in locally transmitted infections, banning indoor gatherings of more than five people and outdoor gatherings of more than 10, while mandating the closure of schools and many other public venues.
The restrictions have had relatively little effect on sectors such as manufacturing, Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment Director Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) said.
However, other sectors continue to be severely affected by border controls, particularly support services, transportation, warehouse services and tourism sectors, Huang said.
Hotels have been doing better than expected, as many of them have been commissioned by the government to provide rooms for people who must undergo quarantine, he said.
The food and beverage industries have also remained resilient, with many restaurants switching to takeout and delivery services, Huang added.
Businesses might soon receive a new round of government stimulus funding, which could reduce the number of furloughed employees, he said.
The transportation and warehousing sector reported the highest number of furloughed workers in the past week (1,301 workers), followed by the support services sector (1,012) and the manufacturing sector (722), ministry data showed.
There were 150 companies in the support services sector implementing furlough programs, 90 in the wholesale and retail sector and 55 in the manufacturing sector — which were the top three sectors affected, the data showed.
Most of the firms implementing furlough programs are small businesses with workforces of fewer than 50 people.
These unpaid leave programs typically last less than three months and involve employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, the ministry said.
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