The central government is the largest employer of part-time workers and it has implemented measures to nominally reduce the number of part-time employees to avoid criticism, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.
“The government should be ashamed of the fact that it employed 10,836 part-time workers as of the end of the third quarter and is now the largest employer of part-time workers in the country,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference.
It seems that the government is not going to stop the hiring, given that it has allocated a budget of at least NT$11.3 billion (US$390 million) for the practice next year, Pan said.
Almost all government agencies hired part-time workers to handle their core functions full-time, according to a Control Yuan report.
The Council of Agriculture hired the most part-time workers, with 2,855, with the Ministry of Economic Affairs close behind at 2,757.
Ironically, the Council of Labor Affairs is third on the list at 1,829, with more than half of its employees working part-time.
The continued abuse of such employment has not only disrupted the employment market, Pan said, but also raised suspicions that the Executive Yuan agencies were using atypical employment to reduce the unemployment rates and “save the government’s face.”
The government’s “evil” did not end there, DPP Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) said, as several agencies, after being warned by the Control Yuan about their part-time employment practices, began to “outsource” their operations as “labor services” projects and list the part-time workers as contractors.
The number of labor service projects increased from 66,143 last year to 67,212 this year.
Lee said the employment condition of those contractors was even worse than part-time workers because they were not covered by labor insurance and national health insurance.
DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) cited statistics to prove the government abuse of part-time workers. Of the government’s part-time workers who have a master’s degree, 238 have been working at their current position for more than five years, 120 for more than four years and 131 for more than three years, Tsai said.
“If they worked full-time and contributed in the same way to the agency as those full-time employees, they should be hired full-time,” Tsai said.
The government should tackle the issue head-on and should not juggle with the law by “inventing new terms or categories,” DPP Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) said.