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308 companies in Taiwan gave forced leave to 8,000 employees amid COVID-19 pandemic

The number of employees under unpaid leave or forced leave in Taiwan rose to nearly 8,000 in the last two weeks of March due to the economic impact of COVID-19 according to the Ministry of Labor (MOL).

As of March 31, a total of 7,916 workers at 308 companies had agreed to go on unpaid leave, up from 3,835 at 109 enterprises in the first two weeks of March, according to MOL data.

Employees on forced leave mostly came from metal and electromechanical, information and electronic, wholesale and retail, food/beverage and lodging, and service sectors.

The food/beverage and lodging industry registered the highest number of furloughed workers during the period at 2,693, followed by 2,247 in the metal and electromechanical sector, and 903 in the wholesale and retail sector.

Most of the companies implementing unpaid leave are small enterprises with workforces of fewer than 50 people, according to the MOL.

Their unpaid leave programs typically last for fewer than three months and have their employees take five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, reported by CNA.


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