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Taiwan sees decade-high number of employees on unpaid leave

Updated: Jun 18, 2020 Xinhua Print
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TAIPEI -- The number of employees taking unpaid leave in Taiwan, a common measure to cut costs when business is slow, is now greater than at any point since October 2009, the island's labor affairs department said Tuesday.

As of Monday, a total of 1,323 companies had put 29,838 employees on unpaid leave across Taiwan, up 60 and 1,493 respectively over the figures released a week ago, the department said in a statement.

The number of companies adopting this policy is now at its highest point since statistics were first formally issued in January 2009.

A total of 15,037 employees in manufacturing were put on unpaid leave, as of Monday, up 1,302 on the previous week, the largest figure for any sector. Manufacturing also accounted for 87.2 percent of the total newly added employees on leave over the past week.

Taiwan's manufacturers have seen a reduction in orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a large number of overseas clients closing or downsizing their businesses, the department said, adding that the suppliers of raw materials and components have also been affected.

However, hotels and catering businesses, which have borne the brunt of the epidemic over the past few months, showed improvement in business over the past week.

A total of 139 hotels and catering firms had put 2,850 employees on unpaid leave as of Monday, slightly down from 2,867 people the previous week, although the number of companies adopting this policy has not changed.

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