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HR Ministry drafting policy for gig economy workers before introducing act: Sivakumar

Publish date: Sun, 04 Jun 2023, 06:02 PM

BUTTERWORTH: The Human Resources Ministry is drafting a policy for gig economy workers involved in p-hailing and e-hailing food delivery services as a guideline before coming up with a special act to defend the rights of the group, especially in terms of income and social security.

Its minister, V Sivakumar said gig economy workers who are self-employed at this point do not have any specific laws or acts that give them full protection.

He said in Malaysia and also in other countries, there was no act or law created to regulate gig economy workers since not everyone in the group agrees for the sector to be controlled by any particular party.

"So, this matter (special act) needs to be studied more carefully and in-depth. However, the ministry is aware of the need to provide protection to gig workers.

"Therefore we are drafting a policy to see how the government can ensure that these gig workers are not discriminated against by employers as well as provide social protection to them.

Sivakumar said this when asked to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's suggestion that the Human Resources Ministry draft a special act to defend the welfare of gig economy workers especially in terms of income and social security.

He was met at the closing ceremony of the MYFutureJobs career carnival and Penang Housewives Social Security Scheme at the Butterworth Arena, here, today.

Commenting further, Sivakumar said his party could not create an act which is not in the interest of both the employer and employee.

"Therefore, for the time being, we will outline the policy first, then we will study more carefully and in detail whether we want to make this law or not.

"I will probably receive the guidelines regarding this policy which we (the ministry) have roughly discussed in two weeks' time. We will study it further before making a decision," he said.

It was reported earlier that the government was planning to form an act to guarantee social security for gig economy workers.

Zahid is reported to have said that the act addresses the issue of commensurate income that gig companies should pay to workers.

"The company makes a good profit but the commission received by the food delivery person who travels in the rain and sun is small and not commensurate.

"The ministry was asked to draft an act that defends the fate of over a million workers." he said.

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