1,532 people in Taiwan forced to take unpaid leave

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A total of 1,532 employees from 31 companies in the country have been forced to take unpaid leave in the period between Sept. 2 and Sept. 15, according to a report released by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday.

This was a decline from the previous period - Aug. 16 to Sept. 1 - when 34 businesses had forced employees to take unpaid leave. Since then, seven have resumed regular work schedules. Four new businesses, however, have since commenced unpaid leave. As a result, there are three less businesses and 708 fewer people facing unpaid leave compared with the previous period. Affected workers are usually required to take between one to four days of unpaid leave a month.

Due to a couple of electronics manufacturers and cellphone parts assembly businesses' subpar performance, 1,500 more employees took unpaid leave in the previous period.

However, since electronics manufacturers and cellphone parts assembly businesses have recently received urgent orders, they cancelled their unpaid leave resulting in a one-third reduction in forced unpaid leave.

The CLA instructs competent authorities around the country to collect employment data from various businesses and then compile and release employment information on the first and 16th day of every month.

The CLA said that it would continue to follow up with businesses that are implementing unpaid leave and instruct local competent authorities to actively take measures to ensure the rights of laborers are unharmed.

When businesses seek to implement unpaid leave, they are required to discuss the matter with their labour force, the CLA said, adding that employers are required to follow guidelines that stipulate the proper procedure of implementing forced unpaid leave. The CLA suggests that businesses ink agreements regarding unpaid leave with labour forces to avoid conflicts and disputes down the road.