‘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:

La­bor Min­istry

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

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