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Cabinet approves bill to limit factory layoffs

TAIPEI--The Cabinet has approved a draft bill tolimit the number of factory workers that can be laid off in a single day, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday.

The bill states that no more than 80 employees at a plant with more than 500 workers can be let go in one day.

In addition, the draft amendment to the law on worker protection redefines a “mass layoff”, which has to be done following a rigorous process, as when more than 200 workers at an enterprise are laid off over a 60-day period or 100 are let go in one day, the CLA said.

The council said it proposed the revisions because it is concerned about the current unemployment situation.

The draft bill will now be submitted to the Legislature for review.

Also on Thursday, CLA officials presented to the Cabinet a program aimed at upgrading people's employability. The program detailed strategies such as helping people ages 15-24 to land jobs, revising the country's foreign labor policy, and providing better career matching services.

The CLA hopes to increase subsidies to the manufacturing, service and the traditional sectors to improve the quality of their workers and help such businesses become more competitive, said Lin San-quei, director general of the council's Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training.

After the presentation, Premier Sean Chen gave the CLA a directive to work harder to reduce unemployment in the 15-24 age bracket, which stood at 13.61 percent in August.

Unemployment in that age group is the highest in the country, although it is lower than in some European countries, Chen said.

He said 330,000 workers found jobs through career matching services in the first eight months of the year, a slightly drop from a year earlier.

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