Tripartite Partners Form Workgroup On Representation For Platform Workers
The tripartite partners, comprising the Government, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), have formed a new Tripartite Workgroup (TWG) on Representation for Platform Workers. The TWG comprises representatives from the tripartite partners, Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and platform companies . Please see Annex for composition of the TWG.
2 Enhancing representation to support platform workers is one of the focus areas for the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers (“Advisory Committee”). Following extensive engagement with stakeholders in the platform industry, the Advisory Committee has assessed that it would be useful for stakeholders to come together to study the issue in greater detail and propose a framework that allows platform workers to be formally represented and balances the interests of platform workers and platform companies.
3 Harmonious industrial relations have been a key enabler of Singapore’s economic growth. This has been underpinned by a fair and balanced industrial relations framework that lays out clearly the roles that worker and business representatives play in negotiating for their interests. The growth and sustainability of the platform industry will similarly benefit from having a clear framework. Platform worker representatives will be better empowered in negotiating for their interests, while platform companies will benefit from clear processes and rules for negotiations, as well as more efficient dispute management.
4 To navigate this new terrain of industrial relations in the platform industry, the Advisory Committee has called upon the tripartite partners to lend their expertise. Together with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), NTUC and SNEF will co-chair the TWG to propose a framework to enhance the representation of platform workers, while taking into account the unique features of platform work.
5 Ms Goh Swee Chen, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee said, “Enhancing representation for platform workers is an issue of international concern. While some jurisdictions have applied a one-size-fits-all approach for platform workers and employees, the Advisory Committee recognises that this may not be an optimal approach for Singapore, as there are clear distinctions between a platform worker and an employee. The tripartite workgroup mirrors Singapore’s unique model of tripartism, tapping on the deep industrial relations expertise of tripartite partners. Platform companies and platform worker associations are represented on the TWG to shape the proposals. Together, the workgroup will propose a balanced and sustainable industrial relations framework that enhances representation for platform workers.”
6 At the TWG’s first meeting on 30 Aug 2022, the members agreed on the scope of the TWG’s work. The key deliverables are:
a. To propose a framework for a representative body to seek mandate to represent platform workers collectively;
b. To propose the scope of issues that can be negotiated between a platform company and a platform worker representative body; and
c. To propose a dispute management framework to efficiently address disputes between negotiating parties.
7 Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Manpower, and Advisor to the Advisory Committee and the TWG, said, “Singapore’s tripartism is a key ingredient for harmonious labour relations and a strong social compact. There is room to strengthen the tripartite relationship within the platform industry as the industry continues to grow, so that no worker is left behind. The tripartite workgroup will develop recommendations for all parties – platform workers, platform companies and Government – to work together and build a sustainable industry.”
8 The Advisory Committee will continue to engage widely on its three focus areas – (i) improving housing and retirement adequacy, (ii) strengthening financial protection in case of work injury, and (iii) enhancing representation, and expects to submit its recommendations to the Government before the end of 2022. The TWG targets to complete its work in 2023.
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Issued by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers
The Advisory Committee was announced by Minister for Manpower, Dr Tan See Leng, after the National Day Rally 2021 to look into strengthening protections for platform workers. It comprises representatives from the Government, Labour Movement, industry and academia.
Composition of Tripartite Workgroup on Representation for Platform Workers
(as of 30 Aug 2022)
Dr Koh Poh Koon
Senior Minister of State for Manpower
• Mr Poon Hong Yuen, Deputy Secretary (Workforce), MOM
• Ms Cham Hui Fong, Deputy Secretary-General, NTUC
• Mr Sim Gim Guan, Executive Director, SNEF
• [Representative from taxi sector] Mr Tommy Tan, Chief Operating Officer, ComfortDelGro Taxi
• [Representative from ride-hailing sector] Mr Yee Wee Tang, Managing Director, Grab
• [Representative from goods delivery sector] Mr Alex Lin, Managing Director (Singapore), Lalamove
• [Representative from food delivery sector] Mr Darryl Chua, Operations Director, foodpanda
• Mr Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive Officer, SBF
• Mr Ang Hin Kee, Advisor to National Taxi Association (NTA) & National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA)
• Ms Yeo Wan Ling, Advisor to NTA, NPHVA and National Delivery Champions Association (NDCA)
• Ms Jean See Jinli, Executive Secretary to NDCA, and Director, NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit
• Mr Goh Yong Wei, President, NDCA
• Mr Goh Say Sing Joseph, General Secretary, NPHVA
• Mr Lee Chung Wei, Divisional Director, Workplace Policy and Strategy Division, MOM
• Mr Kandhavel Periyasamy, Deputy Divisional Director, Labour Relations and Workplaces Division and Director, Industrial Relations Department, MOM