Malaysia takes steps to protect gig workers’ welfare

Malaysia plans to include gig workers in a social security scheme and is considering specific legislation to safeguard their welfare.
By: | March 1, 2023

Malaysia is set to implement a policy that will require all self-employed individuals, including gig workers, to contribute to the Self-Employed Social Security Scheme (SKSPS). This policy, which is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Human Resources, aims to provide insurance coverage for all sectors and address the challenges faced by gig workers, who currently lack specific policies or legislation to safeguard their welfare.

According to V Sivakumar, Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister, gig economy workers do not enjoy the protection of the Work Act 1995, Labour Ordinance (Sabah Chapter 67), and Labour Ordinance (Sarawak Chapter 76), and are not entitled to the benefits of the minimum wage.

He also cited data from the Social Security Organisation (Socso), which indicates that 374,906 self-employed individuals in Malaysia have SKSPS protection, out of which 315,107 are active p-hailing riders and 59,799 are e-hailing workers. P-hailing riders refers to food and parcel delivery riders, whereas e-hailing workers refers to drivers who work for ride-hailing organisations.

READ: Stay employed by being relevant, employees in Malaysia told

To address the challenges faced by gig workers, Sivakumar said the ministry is studying the protection of gig workers in specific legislation to safeguard their welfare, including those who are self-employed.

“Various initiatives and programmes have been implemented as an encouragement for the informal sector workers, including gig economy workers, to register and contribute to Socso. These include Socso appointing a corporate agent to help encourage workers in the sector to contribute to SKSPS,” he said, reported New Straits Times.