Furloughed workers down by over 900 as more businesses bring back staff

The number of workers on official furlough programs in Taiwan dropped by more than 900 over the past week as more businesses brought back staff from unpaid leave, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Thursday.

Data released by the ministry showed that the number of workers on furlough programs reported to the ministry dropped from 18,163 on Dec. 1 to 17,180, while the number of companies with unpaid leave programs fell by 173 to 2,525.

Huang Wei-chen (???), director of the MOL’s Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said some companies within domestic demand-driven industries have began bringing back staff from unpaid leave.

Citing the support services industry as an example, Huang explained that a large Taiwan-based travel agency had its last group of 52 employees return to work, while the number of furloughed people in the accommodation and catering sector also decreased.

In the transportation industry, two airline carriers that mainly provide flight services to Southeast Asia ended their furlough programs following a recent rebound in passenger volume, Huang explained.

Although the number of airline ground staff on unpaid leave did not drop over the past week, the MOL official said he expects the furloughed situation in the sector to improve early next year.

As for the manufacturing sector, fewer companies implemented unpaid leave programs over the past week, although the number of people on furlough increased slightly during the period, according to the MOL.

The rise was particularly evident in the machine tool industry, Huang said without elaborating.

According to the latest figures, the number of furloughed workers in the manufacturing industry was 5,422, while the number of companies with unpaid leave programs was 273. This represented a slight deterioration from the Dec. 1 data, when 5,386 people in the manufacturing sector were on unpaid leave, and the number of companies implementing such programs was 276.

The MOL updates its furloughed worker data on a weekly basis, reporting unpaid leave numbers for companies that have registered their furlough programs with the ministry.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel