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DOL: Business, Labor Relief Available to Lessen Pandemic Impact

A poster promoting a labor retraining program for those affected by the pandemicWith the spike in domestic cases over recent weeks, some businesses have no choice but to furlough their employees. Understandably, such decisions often have an impact on the livelihood of individuals and families.
Labor Commissioner Chen Hsin-yu pointed out that between May 1 and 27, a total of 72 businesses in Taipei have either reduced shifts or suspended operations, affecting 654 workers. If we extended the period back to January 1, 2021, the number of businesses adopting such measures reach 522, resulting in an impact upon 4,710 workers.
However, Chen pointed out that a number of relief measures provided by the government are available to both employers and employees. She cited the Ease-of-mind Employment Program for workers, which offers a monthly subsidy equivalent to 50% of the difference between the average monthly salary-based used for determining labor insurance fee and the income during the furloughed or diminished shift period. For example, if an individual was insured based on an average of NT$48,500 over the past year but saw her income drop to NT$24,000 during the diminished shift period, she is eligible for NT$10,900 (45,800 – 24,000 x 50%).
For business owners, they can apply for the Recharge and Restart Training Program to conduct training for their employees. The government offers a maximum of NT$3.5 million as subsidy for such endeavors, and any employee which accumulates 120 hours in training can also file for an incentive of NT$19,200 with the Workforce Development Agency.
The commissioner also reminds employers that in the case of controversies over wages resulting from failure to report furloughs or reduced shifts to the authorities, they may be subjected to fines between NT$20,000 and NT$1 million.