Ensuring adequate protection for gig workers

PETALING JAYA: Policymakers must remain vigilant in addressing the challenges associated with the gig economy in Malaysia, according to TA Research.

Noting that the gig economy is continuously evolving, the brokerage points out that policymakers must strike a balance between encouraging the growth of the gig economy and ensuring that workers are protected and have access to benefits such as healthcare and retirement plans.


This is for the long-term benefit of the country’s economy as a whole.

“The expansion of the gig economy in Malaysia is a significant development that has far-reaching implications for the future of work. As an increasing number of individuals rely on gig work as a source of income, including those who are already employed, the traditional notions of employment and job security are being questioned,” TA Research wrote in its recent report.

“This has triggered debates about the need for a new social contract that ensures gig workers are granted adequate protection and benefits. The gig economy has also sparked discussions about the role of the government in regulating the gig economy and ensuring that workers are not subject to exploitation,” it added.

The gig economy, which refers to a labour market characterised by short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs, has been growing in Malaysia over the past few years, driven by technology and the rise of digital platforms.

Citing data from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC), TA Research noted, up to 1.12 million individuals in Malaysia were estimated to be involved in the gig economy, either as a primary or supplemental source of income.

MDEC’s figures for the gig platform p-hailing indicated that the number of registered and trained gig workers rose from 51,200 in 2019 to 186,500 in 2020 and 280,500 in 2021.

As of March 2022, the total number of gig workers generating income was 369,966, and the total income generated from 2019 to March 2022 was RM1.79bil.

TA Research pointed out that the growth of the gig economy had implications for education and training, as workers would need to acquire new skills and competencies to succeed in a constantly changing labour market.

As the demand for gig work increased, workers must be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete in the gig economy, it said.

“In recent years, the government has loosened requirements for contributions to retirement schemes such as the Employees Provident Fund, which was previously not accessible to self-employed, retired, or non-earning individuals. This initiative provides an avenue for gig workers to save for retirement and appreciate their contributions to the economy,” it added.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

gigeconomy , policymakers , protection , benefits , demand


Next In Business News

Mida: Malaysia attracts RM71.4bil in approved investments for 1Q
Ringgit ends lower versus greenback on oil price decline, expectation of US rate hike
IJM expects better results in FY24
PNB appoints Raja Arshad as group chairman
Paramount to launch property projects with GDV of RM1.1bil
TNB 1Q net profit soars to RM1bil
AirAsia X posts 1Q net profit of RM328mil as travel rebounds
FBM KLCI ends higher but market breadth stays negative
S P Setia appoints Zaini Yusoff as COO effective July 1
Asian FX mixed on US rate expectations, debt ceiling deal

Others Also Read