Number of furloughed workers in Taiwan spiked last December

Taipei-The number of workers on unpaid leave in Taiwan rose to 3,074 in the last two weeks of December 2019, which was the highest fortnightly figure for the year, data from the Ministry of Labor (MOL) showed Thursday.

In a statement, the ministry said there was 37 percent spike in furloughed workers to 3,074 from the 2,249 reported two weeks earlier, due largely to one company that sent more than 700 employees on unpaid leave.

MOL statistics showed that in the last half of December, 53 companies had workers on furlough, compared with 44 in the first two weeks of the month, with most of the firms being in the metal/electromechanical industry.

According to the ministry, production dropped at some companies due to an economic slowdown, and some employees agreed to short-term furloughs after consultations with their employers.

Despite their unpaid leave programs, companies are required to pay their furloughed employees no less than the minimum wage, which rose on Jan. 1 from NT$23,100 (US$769) per month to NT$23,800, the MOL said.

In a separate statement on Thursday, the ministry said 2,449 workers were laid off in November 2019, bringing the number for the first 11 months of the year to 15,045.

Chunghwa Picture Tubes accounted for the highest number, letting go 1,900 workers on Nov. 30, in addition to 2,500 earlier in the year, the MOL said.

The November figure was the second highest for 2019, after the 2,884 in May, the ministry’s data showed.

The total number of layoffs for 2019 is likely to exceed the 16,670 recorded in 2015, according to the MOL.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel