Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) The number of employees in Taiwan taking unpaid leave has dropped slightly over the past month, according to the latest figures released Monday by the Ministry of Labor (MOL).
As of Feb. 15, 869 workers from 22 companies had reached agreements with their employers on taking leave without pay, the figures showed.
The number represents a slight decrease from Jan. 15, when 941 workers from 25 companies had agreed to take unpaid leave.
While many have speculated on the impact the COVID-19 epidemic could have on Taiwan's tourism and hospitality industries, Lee Yi-hsuan (李怡萱), director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said the ministry is continuing to monitor the situation in cooperation with local labor affairs authorities.
The latest figure has yet to reflect any impact brought about by the coronavirus, Lee said.
With regard to Monday's figure, most of the companies with employees on unpaid leave were businesses in the metal materials and electrical machinery sectors, she said.
According to the ministry, the companies also tended to have a workforce of fewer than 50 and their unpaid leave programs lasted for less than three months, with the consent of their employees, who agreed to take up to four days of unpaid leave each month.