Ian Lim quoted in DealStreetAsia: “Gig workers seek benefits, social security protection as pandemic bites hard”

On 06 September 2021, TSMP Law Corporation head of employment and labour Ian Lim was quoted in an article published by DealStreetAsia that looks at the protections needed by gig workers.

He said it would probably not be ideal to leave it to the platform companies to decide how much and what type of insurance coverage or accident compensation to provide.

“At the moment it’s quite ad-hoc,” he added. “I think it’s hard to leave it completely to the free economy, and to rely on companies to behave altruistically when they are ultimately profit-driven. It would therefore be preferable to statutorily mandate at least some minimum protections.”

He commented that the authorities here could potentially take a leaf out of the UK playbook. In February this year, the UK Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers were considered “workers” – a hybrid category under UK legislation that sits in between employees and contractors. “Workers” there are entitled to paid annual and sick leave, as well as the UK national minimum wage, amongst other things.

In Singapore, where there is no national minimum wage, we could potentially require that the platform companies provide CPF contributions instead, he said. 

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