‘Unpaid work leave’ could return: industrialists
The head of Taiwan’s leading representative of industries stated yesterday that a return to the predicament of “unpaid work leave” was a possibility due to current economic uncertainties.
Rock Hsu ( ), chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI) said that whether employees face layoffs or retain their positions without paid work leave was a reflection upon industrial competitiveness and the overall market environment.
He said if Taiwan possessed the means of improving and attracting more investment, “our concerns would be lessened.” The CNFI, which claims to represent the voice of leading Taiwanese industries, has often called on the government to lower barriers to investment and increase government efficiency. Hsu blasted the government for implementing “half measures” while lacking the administrative resolve to implement countermeasures against the gloomy economic environment. He also called on the government to encourage Taiwanese businesses based internationally to re- base themselves on the island and to make it easier for businesses to get around existing land and labor regulations.
Official figures released last week indicated decreases in gross domestic product ( GDP) and export performance that are expected to run into next year while volatility in financial markets due to a bursting financial bubble centered in mainland China have also raised concerns among industry and government regarding the labor market.
Scrutinize Labor Market: Think Tank
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) indicated that the continuing deterioration in the performance of the island’s top companies needed to be scrutinized.
Gordon Sun ( ), the director of the institute’s Macroeconomic Forecasting Center said that economic performance outlooks for the second half of the year appear pessimistic. While citing recent plant closures and projected workforce reductions for HTC and CMC, Sun urged government action in order to stave off a worsening labor market.
Observing Employment Outlook:
In response to reports that companies could soon be resorting to cost saving measures that would come at the cost of workers’ wages, the Ministry of Labor released figures showing that occurrences of “unpaid work leave” had actually decreased.
While maintaining that “unpaid work leave” is a colloquial, non- legal term that companies are not permitted to have recourse to, the MOL stated that the latest figures in August showed that companies using the practice and employees affected by it had fallen to 16 entities and 517 workers, respectively. It said that it would continue to observe current labor market conditions, and reminded companies to abide by labor laws to ensure the rights of their employees. More information: The MOL’s hotline for reporting illegal employment practices can be reached at: 0800-085151