Big business groups to give bonuses


TAIPEI–Taiwan’s economy was sluggish in 2015, but some big conglomerates are still planning to dole out bonuses before the Chines New Year to their employees, market sources said recently.

The sources said that among these business groups, the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) is likely to give bonuses equal to at least four months of salary, even as its bottom line has been hurt by plunging international crude oil prices.

FPG and other business heavyweights have laid a sound foundation after years of development and have been able to fend off the headwinds under the current unfavorable economic conditions, the sources said.

The decisions by big companies to distribute year-end bonuses were in sharp contrast to the difficult situation faced by many small and medium-sized companies, some of which have asked their employees to take unpaid leave.

According to government data, there were 4,377 employees on unpaid leave as of mid-December, down from 5,437 recorded at the end of November.

FPG said that although the group has not finalized its year-end bonus plan, it was likely to follow precedent. The group’s employees were given bonuses equivalent of 4.1-4.2 months of salary last year, and 4.24 months of salary plus NT$10,000 in an additional allowance a year earlier.

Textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp. said, meanwhile, that it has yet to make a decision on its year-end bonus, but it expects that it will give its employees bonuses equivalent of at least two months of wages.

Although China Steel Corp., the largest steel maker in Taiwan, has been hurt by a supply glut amid weakening global demand, the company said that it could issue year-end bonuses equal to no less than one month of salary.

China Airlines, the biggest international carrier in the country, said it will meet with its labor union to discuss the year-end bonus, but the amount is expected to be at least one month of salary plus additional allowances.