Guidelines for gig industry being drafted, says minister

BUTTERWORTH: Guidelines to regulate the gig industry will be drafted by the Human Resources Ministry.

Minister V. Sivakumar (pic) said once the guidelines are ready, the government would study them before deciding whether to enact them as a law or Act.

“At present, we really do not have any law or Act to provide protection for gig workers who are self-employed.

“Some groups have called for the ministry to come up with regulations to protect gig workers and to prevent them from being discriminated by employers.

“To come up with a law or Act, it will take a long time. No other country has any Act to regulate gig workers.

“From the feedback of gig workers, not all of them agree to have laws to regulate the sector.

“However, realising the need to protect them, we are drafting a policy to look into how the government can help gig workers.

“A wider context is being looked at as we cannot simply come up with rules that may favour the workers or employers.

“The policy is being drafted by officers in the ministry and will be completed within two weeks,” he told reporters after closing the MYFuturejobs career and Housewives’ Social Security Scheme carnival here yesterday.

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.

At present, there are over one million Malaysians in this sector and the Statistics Department said 97.7% of gig workers are youths.

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