by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by ARIF KARTONO
THE government has formed a task force to look into gig economy in the wake of recent strikes by Foodpanda Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s riders.
According to the Human Resources Ministry, a tripartite committee have been formed after the Cabinet meeting yesterday, to address issues and challenges on gig economy, as well as the Foodpanda woes.
Other ministries in the committee are the Youth and Sports, and the Domestic Trade, and Consumer Affairs.
Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said in a statement that the ministry has been conducting necessary consultations with stakeholders on the gig economy, particularly on possible law amendment, including the definition of “employee” in such industry.
“The ministry always strives to ensure that the rights and welfare of workers are taken care of without compromising the interest of employers,” he added.
Kulasegaran said the ministry has already urged Foodpanda to revert to the old pay scheme that suited all of their riders.
“Foodpanda has confirmed that the company will monitor the new pay scheme that has been put in place in a few states before deciding if they can revert to the old scheme,” he said.
The government had to intervene to resolve the dispute between Foodpanda and its riders, following the firm’s decision to introduce a new service fee scheme.
Hundreds of Foodpanda riders turned up at Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s residence on Tuesday night to voice their grievances.
In a separate statement, Syed Saddiq said the newly formed tripartite committee will conduct a deeper study on issues pertaining to the gig economy.
“The government will find ways to ensure a competitive market for industry players, especially when there are parties that claimed they are controlling the market,” the minister said.
“There are many youths who become a part-time or full-time rider. They need to get a full protection to add their income. We are responsible to ensure that their future is safeguarded.”
Previously, the Foodpanda riders claimed that the new scheme, which removed their hourly fix allowance of RM4, instead of payment between RM4.50 and RM7 per trip, do not reflect their actual working hours.
Some of them also demanded financial safety nets such as the Employees Provident Fund or Social Security Organisation and insurance coverage in the gig economy job market.