Delivery rider groups call for reform of gig economy sector

IN A bid to improve and reform the gig economy sector involving p-hailing, six delivery rider groups are asking the government to strengthen existing policies and practices.

Persatuan Perpaduan Rakan Penghantar Malaysia (PPRPM) advisor Bryan Ng said the status of delivery riders was ambiguous as there are no specific laws under the Employment Act 1955 governing them.

"Delivery riders are not considered as employees or gig economy workers but are considered as self-employed instead.

"These workers have scheduled work hours and will be penalised for rejecting orders by p-hailing companies, thus subjecting them as employees," he said during a press conference held at the Youth and Sports Ministry at Putrajaya after handing over the memorandum to Deputy Minister Adam Adli Abd Halim.

Ng added that delivery rider groups should also be consulted when drawing up policies for gig economy workers.

"We are pushing for them to be recognised as employees as there is a 'contract of service' element in their p-hailing work between riders and companies.

"With this, we can secure their social welfare and safety which includes Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso) contributions," he said

The memorandum Ng submitted also highlighted the reduction in pay-per-trip remuneration, the lack of transparency in payment calculation by trips in the mobile interface, the absence of a special tribunal for delivery riders as well as inadequate upskilling training programmes.

"In the past two to three years, many SPM graduates have been doing p-hailing work as they feel they can make a living with this.

"So, there is a need for upskilling programmes for delivery riders as it will help them secure jobs in the future or if they venture into other areas," he said.

Also present were representatives from PPRPM's Disabled p-Hailing Community, Indian Riders Club, Persatuan Penghantar p-Hailing Malaysia, Pertubuhan Berkebajikan Penghantar Bermotosikal Damansara and e-Hailing Coalition Malaysia.

Adam Adli accepted the memorandum but did not speak to the press.

"The meeting was fruitful and Adam Adli showed support for our cause," said Ng.

Previously, Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said the ministry was drafting a policy for the said group involving e-hailing and p-hailing services to safeguard their welfare in terms of income and social security.

He added that there were no specific laws that protect gig economy workers who were considered self-employed at this point.

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