Travel agencies

Travel agencies are seeing the strongest growth in furloughed workers

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) Travel agencies reported the largest growth in the number of workers on official unpaid leave programs in Taiwan over the past week as border controls are still in place amid COVID -19, as the number of furloughed workers continued to rise, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) announced on Monday.

Data compiled by the Department of Labor showed that the number of furloughed workers in the support services sector, which is largely made up of travel agencies, stood at 8,677 as of April 30, up from 272 compared to the previous report published on April 25.

During the week, the number of employers in the support services sector with leave programs in place also rose from 1,378 to 1,412, the data showed.

In Taiwan as a whole, the number of workers on unpaid leave rose to 14,805 as of April 30, up 407 from the previous week, the labor ministry said.

In addition, the number of companies with furlough schemes also increased by 85 from the previous week to 2,355, the MOL added.

Speaking to reporters, Wang Chin-jung (王金蓉), deputy head of the Ministry of Labor’s Working Conditions and Equal Employment Division, said that the increase in the number of furloughed workers in the Helpdesk sector was the main factor determining the total number in Taiwan during the week.

Most of the travel agencies that introduced furlough schemes in the past week were small and medium-sized businesses, Wang said.

According to the department, the support services sector not only saw the highest number of furloughed workers, but also the highest number of employers introducing unpaid leave programs as of April 30.

During the week, the number of furloughed workers in the manufacturing sector resisted the recovery, rising from 1,357 to 1,259 as of April 30, while the number of employers in the sector with furlough programs in place fell from 104 to 109, the Labor Department said.

The drop in the number of laid-off workers in the manufacturing sector came after a machinery supplier ended its furlough program after placing about 200 workers on unpaid leave, Wang said.

However, a semiconductor supplier placed about 100 of its 200 employees on unpaid leave within the week due to a shortage of production materials, Wang added.

Although Taiwan is facing a spike in domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, which has raised concerns about the impact on private consumption, Mr. and 50 furloughed workers said, respectively, in the week .

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 at 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.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Frances Huang)

End Article/AW