Gig Work Becoming Full Time Jobs in Malaysia
Gig Jobs Are More Than a Side Hustle, They’ve Become a Profession
As more people start spending longer hours on gig work, there is a need for these workers to be given the necessary employee protection.
Some Malaysians are spending longer hours on their side jobs, turning them into full-time employees. These volatile contract jobs are the only income source of some, a study of some 400 workers from e-hailing and food-delivery services reveals. The findings of the survey now underpin the need for the laws to be relooked at Gig workers currently receive the bare minimal social protection. There is a growing need for the establishment of an adequate social and legal protection framework.
A person who provides on-demand services through a digital gig platform is classified as a gig worker. Examples of this include Foodpanda and Grab.
The survey was entitled “The Significance of Gig Work to Gig Workers and Their Views on Social Protection”. The survey was carried out between October 15 – November 16, 2019.This comes amid the increasing support by the public for a legislation that recognises these workers as employees who work full-time.
Social Protection and Working Conditions for Gig workers
58% of the workers who were polled in the survey say they felt they were working full-time. Only one-fifth of these workers considered gig work an additional side-income. The other quarter who were surveyed considered themselves “gig” workers. 75% of all the workers surveyed stated gig work was an “extremely important” or an “important” income source.
Two-thirds of the respondents in the survey earned an income of below RM3,000 monthly. This only further underscores how important gig work was.
Some parts of the United States and United Kingdom are already in the midst of implementing these laws. This would mean employers like Grab and Lyft would have to provide their workers with full-time benefits. Working full-time, a gig worker could earn a median income of RM2,999 monthly. This sum is only a mere few hundred ringgits above what Bank Negara Malaysia’s living wage threshold was to survive in Kuala Lumpur.
More gig workers are expected in the future as these platforms continue to grow in Malaysia. A long-term approach is needed, one that recognises how the nature of employment in Malaysia is changing. There is a need for an approach that assigns fair responsibility on both gig workers and platforms alike. Gig workers should be given social protection and working conditions that are reasonable too.