Singapore considers new protections for gig workers

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

SINGAPORE: A newly formed committee has been tasked to look into the protection of gig workers and will recommend changing legislation to create a more balanced relationship between gig workers and employers in Singapore.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Health, Koh Poh Koon told local media that the committee would consult widely and come up with a set of recommendations by the second half of 2022.

The recommendations may involve changing legislations or a set of guidelines for unions, workers, and employers, Koh said.

As gig workers are not considered traditional employees, they are not covered under the Employment Act, and as a result, not able to form their own unions in Singapore. The 15 member committee which is made up of representatives from government, industry, labour, and academia, pointed out three priority areas for gig workers: improving retirement and housing adequacy, ensuring financial protection, and also closing the gap in bargaining power between workers and platforms.

Recent numbers show that Singapore had 228,200 self-employed workers and freelancers last year, an increase from 211,000 in 2019.

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