The declining birth rate is a serious problem for Taiwan’s future in many ways. Of all the solutions I have seen, none address the dismal rights of workers in Taiwan.
I am a foreigner with a Taiwanese wife in Taipei and work is problematic for anyone considering children because you can be fired for missing one day of work. New legislation must be put into place to protect workers’ rights to keep their jobs if they have to miss work for the sake of their children.
A recent hospital visit with one of our four children took more than 13 hours; consequently, my wife lost her job because of this emergency — he could have stopped breathing if we didn’t take him to the hospital. If you want to encourage people to have children, two things must be done: One is to protect workers’ rights when it comes to emergency hospital visits (difficult considering so many are paid cash) and the other would be to have an nationwide care system for children that is government-backed. Daycare in the first few years is critical and should be free. Not everyone has a grandmother hanging around to take care of the kids all day.
If Taiwan wants to consider raising the birth rate, the government should quit politicking and just do something positive for a change. The future of Taiwan depends on this critical issue.