Number of furloughed workers edges higher
Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) The number of furloughed workers in Taiwan increased slightly last week even though two companies ended their furlough programs, bringing about 500 workers back to work, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Monday.
As of Oct. 23, 655 companies had implemented unpaid leave programs, up 31 from a week ago, with a total of 13,184 workers on furlough, up 126 from a week earlier, data compiled by the MOL showed.
Over the past week, two metal and machinery companies ended their furloughs, enabling a combined 500 workers to return to work, according to Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), deputy director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment.
The number of furloughed workers has been on the decline for four consecutive months, Huang said, falling from about 30,000 in June to 25,000 in July, 20,000 in August and 17,000 in September and is expected to continue to fall as economic activity picks up.
The unpaid leave programs typically last for fewer than three months and involve employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, according to the ministry, as companies try to get through disruptions to their businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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