Control Yuan member Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲) on Wednesday launched an investigation into whether the immigration of foreign workers to Taiwan has gone out of control.
According to the Employment Service Act (就業服務法), the government must consult with representatives of related government agencies, workers, employers and academics to decide on a quota for foreign employees, above which a warning should be issued, and control the maximum number of foreign workers permitted into Taiwan each year, Wang said.
The act has been in force for more than 20 years, but the Ministry of Labor has yet to set a quota for alerts about arrivals of foreign workers or to control the total number allowed into Taiwan, Wang said.
In the absence of such measures, the influx of foreign workers is “like driving on a highway without traffic lights and controlled access,” she said.
It is impossible to assess the effect of foreign workers on individual industries and efforts to support the development of the service industry, she said.
Is it also impossible to know the effect on salaries and work conditions of local workers, or to determine whether the foreign worker allocation rate is appropriate and whether it could be adjusted for different industries, she added.
Other questions that warrant investigation include whether workers employed under the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (外國專業人才延攬及僱用法) should be included in the maximum number of foreign workers and how to assess the effect of foreign workers on Taiwan’s industries and labor market, Wang said.
There were 303,684 foreign workers in Taiwan at the end of 2002, 379,653 at the end of 2010, 489,134 at the end of 2013 and 587,940 at the end of 2015, the Control Yuan said.
By the end of last year, the number of foreign workers reached 676,142, an increase of nearly 300,000 from 2010, the Control Yuan said.
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