A total of 922 companies across Taiwan put their Employees under temporary unpaid leave

A total of 922 companies across Taiwan had employees on leave as of the end of April.

Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), deputy director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said the high number of companies choosing to furlough their workers reflected that a lot of small businesses have had trouble keeping their workers busy during the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

A statistic was released on Friday (May 1), according to the Ministry of Labor at the end of the month 18,840 of workers with 922 companies were still on unpaid leave.
Statistics were first kept in January 2009, the 922 companies were the most. The former record came in April 2009 during the financial crisis when 903 companies announced they were furloughing workers.

In February 2009 the number of workers on unpaid leave remained well below the peak of 238,975 when successful manufacturers were forced to stop their workforces.

Because of subsidies from the government, Huang said that larger companies have been less likely to put their employees on temporary leave.

Businesses granted government subsidies are not allowed to lay off workers or decrease their work hours under Taiwan's economic bailout program.

MOL said most of the companies with workforces fewer than 50 were using the unpaid leave system in Taiwan in recent months because of the fallout from COVID-19.

MOL figures showed the manufacturing sector had 6,501 workers on unpaid leave over the past week by industry, the most of any sector.

The hospitality sector has 4,304 employees on temporary leave, making them second among the sectors followed by the retail/wholesale sector with 3,645 and the supportive services with 1,332.
The figures only included companies that have reached temporary leave agreements with their workers and reported them to the MOL. They do not include businesses that have forced workers to leave without going through the system of MOL.

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