Over 1,000 work­ers placed on fur­lough in Sept.: MOL

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS - BY ENRU LIN

The Min­istry of La­bor ( ) said Thurs­day that 26 busi­nesses had placed a to­tal of 1,233 em­ploy­ees on in­vol­un­tary un­paid leave dur­ing Septem­ber.

The Septem­ber fig­ure is the most fur­loughs re­ported in a sin­gle month since the be­gin­ning of this year, as well as the first time since last Fe­bru­ary that a monthly fig­ure has ex­ceeded 1,000.

On Wed­nes­day, La­bor Min­is­ter Chen Hsi­ung- wen ( ) an­nounced a NT$20 bil­lion fund that would be au­tho­rized once the num­ber of work­ers on un­paid leave reached 1,000.

The fund would be used to sub­si­dize vo­ca­tional train­ing for fur­loughed em­ploy­ees and other em­ploy­ment sup­port, Chen said at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan.

On Wed­nes­day, Chen had said that latest avail­able data showed 19 busi­nesses had placed 783 em­ploy­ees on un­paid leave so far in Septem­ber.

In Tech and Tra­di­tional Sec­tors

Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions al­low en­ter­prises to place em­ploy­ees on fur­lough for up to three months.

Ac­cord­ing to Min­istry of La­bor data re­leased yesterday, 26 reg­is­tered busi­nesses had placed 1,233 em­ploy­ees on fur­lough in Septem­ber, up 84 per­cent from 669 work­ers in Au­gust.

The busi­nesses im­ple­ment­ing the fur­loughs were mainly small and medium- sized en­ter­prises in tra­di­tional i ndus­tries and elec­tron­ics.

Among the busi­nesses us­ing fur­loughs were one firm in each of Tai­wan’s three ma­jor science parks, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Fur­lough fig­ures are only a part of jobs data and alone do not sig­nal Tai­wan’s in­dus­trial down­turn. Other em­ploy­ment data, in­clud­ing mass lay­off fig­ures and un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits claims, need to be an­a­lyzed be­fore any con­clu­sion is made, min­istry of­fi­cials stressed at a press con­fer­ence in Taipei.

‘Not par­tic­u­larly high’:

La­bor Min­istry

The La­bor Min­istry said that while Septem­ber’s fur­lough rate is up 84 per­cent from Au­gust, the in­crease is in line with past an­nual pat­terns.

“Fur­lough rates tend to peak around the end of the year and the start of the next year,” said Lee I-hsuan ( ), a sec­tion chief at the Min­istry of La­bor.

“So far this year’s sit­u­a­tion is still rel­a­tively sta­ble. Com­pared to (fur­lough use) in the past, it is not par­tic­u­larly high.”

Since 2011, the Min­istry of La­bor has re­leased its latest data on fur­lough us­age on the first day and the mid­dle of ev­ery month.

Since the be­gin­ning of this year, around 5,000 work­ers have been placed on un­paid leave, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics.

The min­istry said that the to­tal num­ber of work­ers placed on fur­lough each year is easily 5,000 peo­ple and has oc­ca­sion­ally ex­ceeded 10,000.

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