, Singapore

Gov’t OKs proposal to give insurance, work injury compensation for gig workers

Gig workers are self-hired delivery, private-hire car drivers, and taxi drivers.

Gig workers will soon enjoy benefits such as financial protection in work injury, improving retirement, and enhancing their representation, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced.

Platform or gig workers are delivery workers, private-hire car drivers, and taxi drivers who are utilising online platforms for services but are not employees of companies operating these platforms.

The government gives its greenlight to all 12 recommendations by the advisory committee on platform workers, MOM said.

The recommendations include:

1. Platform Workers should not be classified as employees.

2. Require Platform Companies that exert a significant level of management control over Platform Workers to provide them with certain basic protections.

Ensuring Adequate Financial Protection for Platform Workers in case of Work Injury

3. Require Platform Companies to provide the same scope and level of work injury compensation as employees’ entitlement under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).

4. Require Platform Company that the Platform Worker was working for at the point of injury to be responsible for compensation, based on the Platform Worker’s total earnings from the platform sector in which the injury was sustained.

5. Determine sector-specific definitions of when a Platform Worker is considered “at work”.

6. Retain the strengths of the current WICA regime, including the provision of work injury compensation insurance through the existing open and competitive insurance market.

Improving Housing and Retirement Adequacy of Platform Workers

7. Align CPF contribution rates of Platform Companies and Platform Workers with that of employers and employees respectively; required for Platform Workers who are aged below 30 in the first year of implementation.

8. Allow older cohorts of Platform Workers who are aged 30 and above in the first year of implementation to opt in to the full CPF contribution regime.

9. Require Platform Companies to collect Platform Workers’ CPF contributions to help workers make timely contributions.

10. Phase in the increased CPF contributions over five years, unless major economic disruption warrants a longer timeline. To ease the impact, the Government may wish to consider providing support for Platform Workers and the form this should take.

Enhancing Representation for Platform Workers

11. Give Platform Workers the right to seek formal representation through a new representation framework designed for Platform Workers.

12. Set up a Tripartite Workgroup on Representation for Platform Workers (TWG) to co-create the new representation framework.

Upon approval, the government will continue to work with platform workers and platform companies to enforce the recommendations in a progressive manner from the later part of 2024 at the earliest. 

Involved in the advisory committee are taxi and hire-car operators, food and goods delivery firms, and trade associations and chambers, amongst others.

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