Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Public feedback invited on ways to strengthen protections for delivery riders, private-hire and taxi drivers

SINGAPORE — Members of the public are invited to give their feedback to a committee that is looking at ways to strengthen protections for delivery riders, private-hire car drivers and taxi drivers, from Monday (Nov 15) to Dec 15.

The public is invited to offer suggestions on how to strengthen protections for "platform workers" such as food delivery riders whose work arrangements are less secure than employees.
The public is invited to offer suggestions on how to strengthen protections for "platform workers" such as food delivery riders whose work arrangements are less secure than employees.
  • Delivery riders, private-hire car drivers and taxi drivers do not enjoy the same protections as workers on employment contracts
  • The Advisory Committee on Platform Workers was set up earlier this year to look at ways to strengthen protections for these workers
  • The committee is now seeking public feedback on this issue in a process ending Dec 15

 

SINGAPORE — Members of the public are invited to give their feedback to a committee that is looking at ways to strengthen protections for delivery riders, private-hire car drivers and taxi drivers, from Monday (Nov 15) to Dec 15.

These workers, known collectively as platform workers, account for about 79,000 workers, or 3 per cent of Singapore’s resident workforce.

The Advisory Committee on Platform Workers, set up by the Ministry of Manpower earlier this year, said in a press release that it has identified three priority areas to give platform workers a more secure future, including:

  • Improving housing and retirement adequacy
  • Strengthening financial protection in case of work injury   
  • Enhancing representation of their interests

As these are “ complex issues with multiple trade-offs”, the committee said that it seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the platform landscape.

It also welcomes feedback and suggestions on how each of the priority areas could be addressed adequately and in a sustainable manner.

With its low barriers to entry, the food delivery industry has become the gig of choice for many looking for flexible working hours and quick cash. In the past year, the industry has also offered a temporary lifeline to people who suddenly find themselves without a job due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, food delivery riders, along with the other platform workers, do not enjoy the same basic benefits or job prospects as most employees.

The job also comes with its fair share of negative encounters and challenges — such as dealing with unreasonable customers and vendors, grappling with bad weather, travelling on crowded and dangerous roads, and getting injured as a result.

The main food delivery firms — GrabFood, Foodpanda and Deliveroo — offer insurance for their riders, but it was only recently that coverage for these workers has been enhanced.

Apart from the lack of basic benefits, some food delivery riders have also seen their earnings affected during the ongoing pandemic despite the boom in demand.

During the circuit breaker or semi-lockdown last year, more people were ordering food online, but some riders reported that they started earning less, with weekly incentives also falling. They attributed it partly to the influx of new riders who had lost their previous jobs.

This public consultation exercise will complement the Government's plans to consult a wide range of stakeholders, including platform companies and platform workers, the committee said.

The Advisory Committee on Platform Workers was announced by Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng after the National Day Rally this year to look into strengthening protections for platform workers.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned the challenges faced by these workers in his National Day Rally speech on Aug 29.

Mr Lee pointed out that these gig workers have no employment contracts and so, lack basic job protection that most employees have such as workplace injury compensation, union representation and employers’ contribution to the workers’ Central Provident Fund (CPF).

He also noted that more people have been taking up this type of work, especially during the pandemic.

The committee’s chairperson, Ms Goh Swee Chen, said on Monday: “We aim to present recommendations that result in tangible protection improvements for platform workers. At the same time, we recognise the need for solutions to be practical and sustainable for businesses and consumers.

“To achieve this, we are consulting widely, and will deliberate thoroughly before sharing our recommendations next year. We strongly encourage all interested parties to give their feedback through the public consultation exercise and look forward to fruitful discussions with related parties in the coming months.”

Members of the public may take part in this exercise by viewing the public consultation document at go.gov.sg/feedbackplatformworkers for details of the proposed areas for review.

Related topics

food delivery delivery workers Deliveroo Foodpanda Grab taxi driver private-hire car drivers MOM

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.