Singapore: Ministry of Manpower to strengthen protections for platform workers

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The Advisory Panel’s recommendations on platform workers will be phased in by late 2024, including revisions to existing workers’ compensation laws.

in a nutshell

On 23 November 2022, the Ministry of Labor (MOM) 12 recommendations accepted The Advisory Board on Platform Workers proposed in its report Better protect platform workers (“Report”) was published on November 17, 2022.

The report’s 12 recommendations are intended to provide platform workers with basic protections in the following areas:

  • Adequate financial protection in case of occupational accidents
  • Post-retirement improvement and housing adequacy
  • Improving expressiveness

Summarized below.

  • Target platform workers for recommendations and excluded self-employed classes
  • Scope of recommendations

content

  1. Eligible platform workers and platform companies
  2. Scope of basic protection
  3. Preparation procedure

Platform workers in the report refer only to a subset of the class of workers that MOM currently classifies as “self-employed.” In other words, you are not an employee of the company that operates the platform. Platform workers in scope for recommendations are:

  • delivery man
  • private car driver and taxi driver

Use our online platform to meet demand for delivery and point-to-point transportation services.

Operators of these platforms are defined as in-scope platform companies when they exercise a significant level of control over their platform workers, as follows:

  • Optimize the allocation of jobs to platform workers using data-driven algorithms to match service supply and demand. This reduces the platform worker’s control over the accepted jobs.
  • Prevent platform workers from setting their own prices by effectively determining or setting price and reward caps
  • Control and direct work performance with platform workers self-directing how to maximize revenue from service users, leaving less room for strategy

As noted by the Digital Platforms Industry Association: STATEMENT ON THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF PLATFORM WORKERS ON ENHANCED PROTECTION FOR PLATFORM WORKERSthe scoping of platform workers, and the definition of platform companies may exclude third-party logistics and cab stand platforms that use platform workers for their business needs.

Below is a summary of recommended protections for platform workers.

Ensure adequate financial protection for platform workers in the event of an occupational accident I. Platform companies must provide the same extent and level of workers’ compensation as employees have rights under the Work Injury Compensation Act 2019 (WICA). WICA is modified to include platform workers. This includes:
A. To eliminate disparities in workers’ compensation coverage between platform workers and workers in similar sectors, to ensure adequate financial protection in the event of a work-related injury set the standard
B. Cover all platform workers with workers’ compensation regardless of how often they work or how long they work. Platform workers are entitled to the same coverage as employees under WICA, even if they were injured on their first day of work and were part-time or hourly workers.
C. Accounting for “multihoming” by ensuring that the platform worker is compensated for actual income from platform work from the platform company for which the platform worker was working at the time of the injury. This is similar to employee compensation under WICA, where a company whose worker has suffered an occupational injury must compensate based on the average monthly income from all employers.
D. All employers should provide compensation for employees injured “on the job” and develop a common understanding of when platform workers are “on the job.” This common understanding would recognize that even though platform companies are not responsible for the equipment or vehicles used by platform workers, they directly affect the safety of platform workers through a significant level of administrative control. Factors to consider in determining what constitutes “on duty” include:
Me.waiting time between jobs
ii. storage time before delivery of goods;
iii. Platform workers with no fixed work hours or locations
of.Maintain the strengths of his current WICA regime, including the provision of workers’ compensation insurance through existing open and competitive insurance markets
Improving the Adequacy of Housing and Retirement Benefits for Platform Workers I. Platform companies are required to provide Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions at the same rate as employers, and CPF contribution rates for platform companies and platform workers are aligned with employers and employees respectively.
A. Platform workers under the age of 30 in the first year of implementation will be required to have a full CPF contribution plan.
B. A cohort of platform workers aged 30+ in the first year of implementation will be allowed the option to opt-in to the full CPF contribution plan.
C. The opt-in rate of platform workers over the age of 65 will be monitored to assess adequacy for housing and retirement.
II. Platform workers in these cohorts and whether further measures are needed in the future The platform company should collect his CPF contribution of the platform workers so that the workers can contribute in a timely manner.
III. Increased CPF contributions will be phased in over five years, unless major economic disruptions require a longer timeline.
IV. To mitigate impact, governments may consider providing support to platform workers and the form this should take.
Enhanced representation of platform workers I. Platform workers have the right to seek formal representation through the new representation framework that allows them to organize themselves as new representative bodies and register with the MOM.
A. The new representative body may formally seek the powers necessary to negotiate with the platform company on behalf of the platform workers and enter into binding contracts.
B. A new legal framework may be introduced to enable this formal representation. This is similar to existing representation frameworks for employees and employers, but adapts to the unique circumstances of platform work and preserves the status of the platform his workers as non-employees.
C. A new tripartite workgroup on platform worker representation will be established to co-create a new representation framework with key stakeholders such as platform workers, platform companies and governments

Online platform operators should first determine whether their operating model provides a significant level of administrative control over their gig workers and include them in their scope as platform companies.

Platform companies should start considering how to sustainably incorporate new standards and solutions into their current business operations and how the proposed changes will impact their ecosystem of merchants, rider partners and consumers. . statement.

Where specific developments adopt and reflect aspects of employment law, we are happy to provide tailored advice to platform companies on WICA, CPF contributions, employee representation, and related matters.

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