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Different holiday moods: higher pay raise and non-paid leave ahead of Lunar New Year
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-02 02:38 PM
As the Chinese New Year is drawing near, some employers are offering a "big Hongbao"--bonus—to reward their staffs, while some are doing the opposite by kicking off non-paid furloughs to cut spending. According to the latest figure compiled by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), the number of people reported being on non-paid vacation is rising to a 10-month high.

President Ma Ying-jeou vowed to kick start Taiwan’s economy this year in Taipei's New Year flag-raising ceremony Wednesday. Speaking of economic performance, Ma admitted that the economic growth as well as the level of real income fell short of expectations last year, posing severe challenges to his administration. To deal with economic issues, according to the Economy Daily News, the government is planning to increase payroll for employees in public sector, setting as a good example to encourage employers in private sector to give their staff a better pay.

Starting from January 1st, Taiwan Shipbuilding Corp. (TSBC), as one of the state-owned industrial businesses, has introduced a pay increase by 2 percent, and another state-owned business, the China Steel Corp., announced a 2.2 percent pay raise in last September.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah has been urging employers in Taiwan to give pay raises since last year. Jiang will also pay visits to leading local firms to hammer out an economic improvement plan. Media speculated that Jiang might take such an opportunity to encourage employers to follow the government move.

Besides, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) rolled out the "A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program," which provides incentives such as subsidies to the companies with good performance, and at the same time giving pay raises as well as financially supporting those in disadvantage.

Although employers in the private sector are encouraged by the government to pay more to staffs in order to keep pace with inflation in recent months, some employers, nevertheless, are encountering decreasing sales amid sluggish economy and offering non-paid vacations to staffs instead.

In the CLA's latest statistics, the number of employees reported being on non-paid leave hits a 10-month high prior to Chinese New Year, up 341 to 2,513 in a total of 42 companies, and the actual number of people being on non-paid time off reaches 1,501.

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