Ian Lim quoted in DealStreetAsia: “Cracks widen in SE Asia’s gig economy as worker discontent grows”

CLOSE

Directory

Thio Shen Yi, SC

Joint Managing Partner

Litigation

Stefanie Yuen Thio

Joint Managing Partner

Corporate

Derek Loh

Partner

Litigation

Jennifer Chia

Partner

Corporate

Melvin Chan

Partner

Litigation

Ian Lim

Partner

Litigation

June Ho

Partner

Corporate

Kelvin Koh

Partner

Litigation

Ong Pei Ching

Partner

Litigation

Mark Jacobsen

Partner

Corporate

Felicia Tan

Partner

Litigation

Jeffrey Chan, SC

Senior Director

Litigation

Prof Tang Hang Wu, PhD

Consultant

Litigation

Prof Hans Tjio

Consultant

Corporate

Mijung Kim

Director

Litigation

Tania Chin

Director

Litigation

Leon Lim

Director

Corporate

Nanthini Vijayakumar

Director

Litigation

Nicholas Ngo

Associate Director

Litigation

Kevin Elbert

Associate Director

Litigation

Eugene Neo

Associate Director

Litigation

Benjamin Bala

Associate Director

Litigation

Vu Lan Nguyen

Associate Director

Litigation

Stephanie Chew

Associate Director

Litigation

Ernest Low

Associate Director

Corporate

Elizabeth Tan

Associate Director

Litigation

Brenda Chow

Senior Associate

Corporate

Heather Chong

Senior Associate

Corporate

Nicole Lee

Senior Associate

Corporate

Tay Quan Li

Senior Associate

Litigation

Lyn Toh Leng

Senior Associate

Corporate

Angela Chai Rui Min

Senior Associate

Litigation

Arthur Chin Yen Bing

Senior Associate

Litigation

Joshua Phang Shih Ern

Senior Associate

Litigation

Chow Jian Hui

Senior Associate

Corporate

Lau Tin Yi

Senior Associate

Corporate

Phoon Wuei

Senior Associate

Litigation

Terence Yeo

Senior Associate

Litigation

Juliana Lake

Senior Associate

Litigation

R. Arvindren

Senior Associate

Litigation

Sabrina Lim Su Ping

Senior Associate

Corporate

Kashib Shareef bin Ahmad Hussain

Associate

Corporate

Sherlyn Lim Li Xuan

Associate

Litigation

Vanessa Cheong Shu Qi

Associate

Corporate

Nikita Garg

Associate

Litigation

Annabelle Lee Jia Xin

Associate

Corporate

Ang Kai Le

Associate

Litigation

Glenn Ng Qiheng

Associate

Litigation

Isaac Tay Zhuo Yan

Associate

Litigation

Markus Low Yu Wen

Associate

Corporate

Nicholas Fu Wei Jun

Associate

Litigation

Krisly Aw Jiaxin

Associate

Corporate

Stasia Ong Pei Qi

Associate

Litigation

Sarah Kim Mun Jeong

Associate

Litigation

Ryan Yap Cheah Jin

Associate

Litigation

News

1 July 2021

Ian Lim quoted in DealStreetAsia: “Cracks widen in SE Asia’s gig economy as worker discontent grows”

Features Ian Lim

On 01 July 2021, TSMP Law Corporation head of employment and labour Ian Lim was quoted in an article published by DealStreetAsia on SE Asia’s gig economy published. He commented on the need for the authorities to look at placing proper safety nets for a growing number of gig workers in Singapore, due to the massive social cost when retirement comes for such workers.

A path to regulating the industry could be hazy, he said.

“There is a lack of clarity over the scale of Singapore’s gig industry”

“The authorities currently estimate that Singapore has more than 200,000 gig workers and freelancers, but getting to grips with the exact numbers can be challenging – does one include full-time employees who also do gig work on the side, for example?”

“Nevertheless, it is vital to do so. In an economy with a greying population like Singapore’s, the social cost of having little to no social safety nets in place for this ever-growing segment of the workforce will soon be felt,” he said.

He also commented that trying to follow other countries’ rulings is not as straightforward as it seems.

“It will be challenging to apply overseas court verdicts, like the recent UK Supreme Court verdict that Uber drivers are workers, to Singapore. That decision hinged on the fact that UK employment statutes have an intermediate class of ‘workers,’ who are neither employees nor independent contractors, and who have some but not all of the statutory benefits of employees (such as rights to paid annual leave).”

Singapore, meanwhile, has no such intermediate class of workers and introducing it would require the Parliament’s intervention. Until that happens, gig workers will continue to be considered non-employed independent contractors.

“One factor which might cause gig platforms to address worker discontent so as to prevent further strikes is ESG [Environmental, Social and Governance] concerns. Investors do not appear to be too concerned with the ESG ratings of gig platforms as yet, but with ESG growing in importance globally, this is likely to become an issue sooner rather than later,” he said.