Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

CLA extends benefits to long-term unemployed

Those out of work for over a year will also qualify for government subsidies: CLA chair

CLA extends benefits to long-term unemployed

The 80,000 people who have been unemployed for more than one year will benefit from an existing package of subsidy measures beginning in April, the Council of Labor Affairs said yesterday.
The subsidies are already applicable to middle-aged and older jobseekers, as well as the mentally and physically handicapped, CLA chairwoman Jennifer Wang told lawmakers.
The benefits include free job training, living expenses during the training, and subsidies for temporary jobs. The expansion of the program to include the long-term unemployed could become effective on April 1 at the earliest, Wang said.
The official government target for 2009 is to keep the jobless rate below 4.5 percent, but the rate already crossed the 5 percent mark at the end of last year and is expected to reach 6 percent soon. Some experts have predicted there could be a 10 percent rate and more than one million people out of work by the end of the year.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party wants the government to extend the period of unemployment benefits to one year from the current six months. The CLA says that since the average duration of unemployment stands at about 26 weeks, the jobless should not receive benefits for more than the corresponding six months.
Wang said yesterday the Legislative Yuan was in the process of reviewing a proposal to extend the duration of the benefits to nine months, but only for higher age groups and for the mentally and physically impaired.
The CLA would stage public hearings to investigate the likelihood of extending unemployment payments for other groups as well, she said, warning that a general extension to nine months would raise its cost by NT$15 billion a year.
The CLA chairwoman rejected arguments from lawmakers that allowing older employees to retire earlier would free up places for younger jobseekers, saying that employers would rather save money by not recruiting replacements.


Updated : 2021-07-28 15:05 GMT+08:00