Response to MOM Public Consultations on the Definitions of Platform Operator and Platform Worker, Treatment of a Subcontracting Scenario, and Platform Operators’ Duties Towards Platform Workers’ Safety and Health

The safety of our platform workers has always been the heart of our business operations. At present, DPIA members have established a myriad of protocols that secure this goal. As an industry, DPIA has published the Code of Practice (COP), a set of self-regulatory standards that institute industry best practices to safeguard the well-being of our platform partners. Furthermore, DPIA and individual members have also collaborated with the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council’s Delivery Safety Workgroup to conclude guidelines seeking to ensure the safety of delivery riders, which platforms have adopted in endeavouring to ensure the safety and protect fair working conditions of our riders.

DPIA welcomes MOM’s efforts in defining platform operators and platform workers. Clear and anchored parameters are critical in engendering regulatory clarity and ensuring a level playing field in the wider platform economy, especially in anticipation of future regulations that will be implemented in 2024 as per the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers’ (ACPW) recommendations on strengthening protections for platform workers. Given the dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of the platform economy, it remains germane that definitions are not only broad and comprehensive to cover existing and emerging sectors that fall within the proposed legal definitions but also to ensure that platform workers across the platform economy have equal access to protections granted. The potential exclusion of sectors within the wider industry that also use platform workers for business needs may lead to market distortion and inequalities in platforms’ duties towards their platform workers. Furthermore, in advancing our collective goal of fortifying the safety and health of our riders/drivers, we believe that future policies that legislate any practical obligations of platforms towards their platform workers should be referenced from the existing best practices and measures in place today.

All in all, DPIA looks forward to continuing productive dialogues with MOM and all relevant stakeholders in furtherance of sustainable policy that not only allows platforms to continue contributing to the Singaporean economy with much-needed business certainty and predictability but more importantly, allows our platform partners to thrive in an ecosystem where their needs are met.

Please find the consultation paper here.