Recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers will be progressively implemented, including amending existing work injury compensation laws, by the later half of 2024
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), on 23 November 2022, accepted the 12 recommendations proposed by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers in its report Strengthening Protections For Platform Workers (the “Report”) issued on 17 November 2022.
The 12 recommendations in the Report aim to provide basic protections to platform workers in the following areas:
- Adequate financial protection in case of work injury
- Improved retirement and housing adequacy
- Enhanced representation
We summarise below the:
- Platform Workers covered by the recommendations, as well as the excluded classes of self-employed workers
- Scope of the recommendations
In-scope Platform Workers and Platform Companies
The Platform Workers in the Report refers to only some of the class of workers which the MOM currently classifies as “self-employed persons”, i.e., not employees of the companies operating the platforms. The Platform Workers falling within the scope of the recommendations will be:
- Delivery workers
- Private-hire car drivers and taxi drivers
who use online platforms to match them with demand for their delivery and point-to-point transport services.
Operators of these platforms will be defined as in-scope Platform Companies if the operator exerts a significant level of management control over Platform Workers, such as:
- Using data-driven, algorithmic matching of demand and supply of services to optimise assignment of jobs to Platform Workers, which diminishes the Platform Workers’ control over jobs they accept
- Effectively determining or setting upper limits on price and remuneration resulting in the inability of Platform Workers to set their own price
- Exerting control and direction over the performance of work with less room for Platform Workers to self-direct and strategise how they maximise earnings from users of their services
As noted by the Digital Platforms Industry Association Statement On The Advisory Committee On Platform Workers’ Recommendations On Strengthening Protections For Platform Workers, the scoping of Platform Workers and the definition of Platform Companies potentially exclude third-party logistics and taxi street-hail platforms, which also use platform workers for their business needs.
Scope of the basic protections
We summarise the recommended protections for Platform Workers below:
Ensuring adequate financial protection for platform workers in case of work injury
Improving Housing and Retirement Adequacy of Platform Workers
Enhancing Representation for Platform Workers
Operators of online platforms should first determine whether their operating models exert a significant level of management control over their gig workers, bringing them in-scope as Platform Companies.
Platform Companies should begin to consider how to sustainably incorporate the new standards and solutions to their current business operations, as well as how the proposed changes may affect the ecosystem of merchants, rider partners and consumers, as noted by the Digital Platforms Industry Association in its Statement.
Where specific developments adopt from, and mirror, aspects of employment law, would be happy to offer Platform Companies tailored advice on WICA, CPF contributions and employee representation, as well as related matters.