Number of furloughed workers up as travel agencies suffer

07/19/2022 01:33 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, July 19 (CNA) The number of workers on official furlough programs in Taiwan increased in the second week of this month as more travel agencies implemented unpaid leave programs amid ongoing border controls, according to the Ministry of Labor (MOL).

Data released by the MOL on Monday showed that the number of workers on unpaid leave during July 8-15 rose by 2,674 to 20,755. During the week, the number of companies with furlough programs in place also rose by 372 to 2,851, the data showed.

Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said with COVID-19 border controls still in place, the support service industry, which is comprised of travel agencies, saw an increase in furloughed workers, while the airline sector has also been affected.

The number of furloughed workers in the support service industry rose to 8,671 from 7,662 in the week while the number of employers in the industry with unpaid leave programs in place rose to 1,471 from 1,310, the MOL said.

The number of furloughed workers in the transportation and warehousing industry rose to 1,367 from 1,263 in the week, while the number of workers taking unpaid leave in the lodging and food/beverage industry also rose to 5,984 from 5,483, the MOL added.

But, Huang said the silver lining was that with summer vacation underway, parents tended to take their children to travel, and along with the government's subsidies to the local tourism industry, it is possible the employment in the lodging and food/beverage industry might improve.

The MOL updates its furloughed worker data on the 1st, 8th, 16th, and 24th of every month, reporting unpaid leave numbers for companies that have registered their furlough programs with the ministry.

Most of the enterprises implementing furlough programs are small firms that employ fewer than 50 people.

Unpaid leave programs typically last for less than three months, with employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, according to the MOL.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Frances Huang)

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