Travel agencies

Number of furloughed workers rises as travel agencies suffer

Taipei, July 19 (CNA) The number of workers on official leave programs in Taiwan increased in the second week of this month as more travel agencies implemented unpaid leave programs in under 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 from July 8 to July 15 rose by 2,674 to 20,755. During the week, the number of companies with programs in place leave also rose from 372 to 2,851, the data showed.

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

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

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

But, Huang said, the silver lining was that with summer vacations underway, parents tend to take their children on trips, and with government subsidies to the local tourism industry, it’s possible the employment in the accommodation and food/beverage industry can improve. .

The Department of Labor updates its data on furloughed workers on the 1st, 8th, 16th and 24th of each month, reporting the number of unpaid leaves for companies that have registered their leave programs with the department.

Most companies implementing furlough programs are small businesses that employ less than 50 people.

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