Singapore's MOM sets up Platform Workers Work Injury Compensation Network

Singapore's MOM sets up Platform Workers Work Injury Compensation Network

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The network consists of companies, insurers, and tripartite partners.

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has set up a Platform Workers Work Injury Compensation Network (PWIN) to develop key operational policies and implementation details for the work injury compensation regime for platform workers.

This follows the acceptance of all 12 recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers in November 2022, including ensuring adequate financial protection in case of work injury. 

The network consists of companies, insurers, and tripartite partners.

Companies included in the PWIN:

  1. ComfortDelGro
  2. Gojek
  3. Grab Singapore
  4. RYDE
  5. TADA
  6. Amazon
  7. Deliveroo
  8. foodpanda
  9. GoGoX
  10. Lalamove
  11. Pickupp
  12. Teleport
  13. uParcel

Insurers included in the PWIN:

  • Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company
  • Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited
  • Etiqa Insurance Private Limited
  • Great Eastern General Insurance Limited
  • Income Insurance Limited
  • Singapore Life Limited

Tripartite partners included in the PWIN:

  • Singapore National Employers Federation
  • National Trades Union Congress (National Taxi Association, National Private Hire Vehicles Association and National Delivery Champions Association)
  • Ministry of Manpower 

Some operational policy issues that the PWIN will look into include:

  • the process for reporting work injuries,
  • claims processing in exceptional scenarios where platform workers are injured while “at work” for more than one platform company at the same time, and
  • how to determine workers’ earnings to compute income loss compensation.

Some implementation details include the operational processes required to support insurance claims processing and dispute resolution.

 A summary of all 12 recommendations is as follows: 

Coverage of recommendations

  • Platform workers should not be classified as employees. 
  • Require platform companies that exert a significant level of management control over platform workers to provide them with certain basic protections.

Ensuring adequate financial protection in case of work injury

  • Require platform companies to provide the same scope and level of work injury compensation as employees’ entitlement under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).
  • Require platform companies for which a platform worker was working at the point of injury to take responsibility for compensation, based on the worker’s total earnings from the platform sector in which the injury was sustained.
  • Determine sector-specific definitions of when a platform worker is considered “at work”.
  • Retain the strengths of the current WICA regime, including the provision of work injury compensation insurance through the existing open and competitive insurance market.

Improving housing and retirement adequacy 

  • Align CPF contribution rates of platform companies and platform workers with that of employers and employees respectively; required for platform workers who are aged below 30 in the first year of implementation.
  • Allow older cohorts of platform workers who are aged 30 and above in the first year of implementation to opt in to the full CPF contribution regime.
  • Require platform companies to collect platform workers’ CPF contributions to help workers make timely contributions.
  • Phase in the increased CPF contributions over five years, unless major economic disruption warrants a longer timeline. To ease the impact, the Government may wish to consider providing support for platform workers and the form this should take.

Enhancing representation for platform workers

  • Give platform workers the right to seek formal representation through a new representation framework designed for platform workers.
  • Set up a Tripartite Workgroup on Representation for Platform Workers (TWG) to co-create the new representation framework.

Speaking at the dialogue with platform workers, Minister of Manpower Dr. Tan See Leng has addressed any potential concerns following the acceptance of these recommendations, such as on the impact of mandatory CPF contributions on take-home pay.

Minister Tan reassures that aligning the CPF rates with employees may mean an expected increase in total earnings, inclusive of the CPF contributions by platform companies.

He also clarified that those servicing a housing loan may use the CPF contributions to their Ordinary Account instead of cash to pay for housing, and may then have more cash in hand compared to today for other expenses.

Lastly, if those earning less than $500 per month from platform work or are above age 65, their share of CPF contributions will actually be the same or lower than today. Yet, they may still receive CPF contributions from the platform company.

Acknowledging concerns on potential drops in take-home pay, Minister Tan has affirmed the following measures to address this:

  1. First, those of age 30 and above may can choose whether they want this alignment. This means they can opt in.
    • This recognises that some of them may already have plans for housing and retirement.
  2. Second, the alignment will be phased in over five years.
    • The phase-in would mean an average of up to 2.5%-point increases in your contribution rate for five years.

Minister Tan said in a Facebook post: "Platform workers face significant risks when it comes to injuries, and providing mandatory work injury compensation for them is important. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower has set up the Platform Workers Work Injury Compensation Implementation Network (PWIN), under which platform companies, platform workers, insurers and tripartite partners will come together to develop claims processes and the reporting of work injuries."

Going further, the Tripartite Workgroup on Representation for Platform Workers will announce details of a new representation framework for platform workers later this year.

Lead image / Minister of Manpower Dr. Tan See Leng Facebook

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