In the cover story published in the 29 July – 4 August 2019 edition of The Edge Singapore on the gig economy trend, head of labour & employment Ian Lim was sought for his views.
He said: “As said by Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo in March this year, the number of self-employed persons (SEPs) [in Singapore] — which include gig and platform economy workers — was more than 8% [of the total number of employed residents], and of these, about 90% preferred self-employment to regular jobs. Assuming the accuracy of the data, this may not sound like much of a problem, unless the remaining 10% of SEPs, who would in fact prefer regular employment, are mostly from lower-income families, who only do gig and other freelance work because they don’t have a choice.”
On self regulation, he said: “If the platforms are resistant to the voluntary standards or see themselves as exempt, then it may well be that some degree of regulation is specifically required to protect gig workers.”
He added: “Given the level of strict control and platform-switching disincentives many platforms have, a number of gig workers seem to end up rendering most, if not all, their services to a single platform. It may be that the time has come to consider introducing a separate, intermediate category of ‘workers’ — in between SEPs on the one hand and employees on the other — with some but not all the rights of employees.”
The story is behind a firewall; summary here: https://www.theedgesingapore.com/news/print-week/mind-gig-gap