SINGAPORE – Singapore will extend workers’ compensation and pension protection to workers in food delivery and transport services under proposed legislative changes, which are expected to be implemented as early as late 2024, the Labor Ministry said.
The new rules affect about 73,000 workers who deliver groceries or drive passengers for companies like Grab, Gojek, Deliveroo and Delivery Hero’s Foodpanda.
Workers would be covered by the national pension scheme, which collects contributions from both workers and companies, and would receive employment injury insurance that would cover medical expenses, lost income and a lump-sum compensation for permanent disability or death.
However, gig workers would not be considered full-time employees entitled to paid vacation and other benefits.
The changes, based on recommendations from an advisory committee set up to set standards for protecting gig workers, were approved by the government on Wednesday.
Grab, Foodpanda and Deliveroo said in a joint statement that the rollout should be “even” given the “complexity of business operations and economic pressures.”
Human rights groups and governments around the world have raised concerns about the interests of contract workers, whose ranks have expanded significantly during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, but who typically do not receive benefits available to full-time workers.
A report released earlier this month by Singapore’s Institute of Policy Studies found that 16.1% of 1,002 food delivery drivers surveyed had an accident severe enough to require medical treatment. – Reuters