Labor inspectors are overworked: report

A BAD EXAMPLE::Some inspectors have been working 50 hours of overtime in a month, which is 30 hours more than the legal amount, the Control Yuan said

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 3

The Control Yuan yesterday censured some local governments for overworking their labor inspectors and called on the Ministry of Labor to help bring understaffed local governments in line with labor regulations.

The Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) protects basic standards and workers’ rights, and employers should shoulder the responsibility of paying overtime, Control Yuan member Wang Mei-yu (王美玉) said.

However, some labor inspectors — whose job is to ensure that employers are not abusing workers’ rights — have been putting in 50 hours of overtime per month, which is 30 hours more than the maximum monthly overtime permitted by law, the Control Yuan said in a report.

Citing Tainan as an example, Wang said some inspectors had put in 70 hours of overtime, adding that while they were compensated for 20 hours of overtime in addition to compensatory days off, some of the overtime did not translate into compensation.

Labor inspectors themselves being overworked serves as a bad example to business owners, the report said, adding that the ministry and local governments should ameliorate the issue.

There are two types of labor inspectors: labor environment inspectors and vocational safety inspectors, the report said.

While Taipei and New Taipei City keep eight and four labor environment inspectors on their official payroll respectively, the remaining 302 inspectors are hired on a part-time basis, putting the ratio of official to part-time employees in the two cities at 1-25.17, it said.

Part-time employees hired for long-term projects have a high turnover rate, and the ministry should continue to petition the Executive Yuan to retain these workers as official employees or increase the benefits offered to labor inspectors, the report said.

Such measures would ensure that talented individuals with experience would remain in their positions, increasing overall efficiency, it said.

Labor inspections encompass less than 10 percent of areas under local government jurisdiction, the report said, adding that many local governments do not meet the standard of 200 inspections per year.

The Control Yuan urged the ministry to address the issues and step up its efforts to aid local governments to meet the criteria.