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Around 79,000 people worked with matching platform companies in 2020. An advisory committee by MOM will now look into strengthening protections for them.

15 Sep 2021 | Local News : Singapore

The spotlight on the rights of platform workers like Grab drivers and riders is heating up steadily. 

As reported by The Business Times, the Parliamentary debate on 14 September 2021 saw questions fielded by MPs with regards to the protections and rights for delivery riders, as well as private-hire vehicle and taxi drivers. 

This follows a particular singling out of gig workers during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally, as well as growing calls by Labour MPs over the past half year to re-evaluate the model under which they are currently employed.

As self-employed individuals, gig workers are particularly vulnerable as they grapple concurrently with fewer protections and fluctuating income
Senior Minister of State for Manpower Koh Poh Koon revealed that there were around 79,000 individuals engaged in such work on platforms last year - comprising close to half of what Singapore categorises as self-employed workers. 

Convened by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), an advisory committee will look into strengthening protections for such workers.

CPF contributions and compensations for workplace injuries have been preliminarily highlighted as issues that need be ironed out, since platform workers do not enjoy entitlement to these rights as self-employed individuals (there is no available data at the moment on traffic-related work injuries for delivery riders). 

Since COVID-19 hit Singapore early last year, the gig economy has come under renewed attention as food deliveries exploded in the same space as falling passenger rides. Among ride and delivery service platforms, Grab also notably made the headlines last year when it announced a fare hike that was criticised by its drivers.

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