Malaysia wants e-hailing drivers covered under Employment Act

A new law for gig workers is in the works

Malaysia wants e-hailing drivers covered under Employment Act

Malaysia has announced an amendment for its Employment Act 1955 that will officially classify e-hailing drivers as employees.

E-hailing drivers are currently not covered by the definition in the country's labour laws, which makes it difficult for them to avail benefits that are rewarded to regular employees. However, Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim says proposed changes for gig workers in Malaysia are being discussed.

"The ministry is in the process of amending the Act to better clarify the employee-employer relations in the gig industry," the minister is quoted as saying in Free Malaysia Today.

In addition, Awang also said the ministry is engaged in discussions with service providers and industry players on the possibility of creating a law for e-hailing riders.

Read more: Gig workers want a law to guarantee protections and benefits

E-hailing drivers, who are under a bigger umbrella of gig workers, are at a disadvantage as they are mostly identified as contract workers and not regular employees. Gig workers have been asking companies and governments to give them better protection and benefits - this includes being entitled to a minimum wage, paid holidays, a pension plan, and even social security.

In Australia, food delivery service Menulog announced that it is planning to adopt an employee model and is on the move to investigate different avenues for employment for the company's gig workers. These recent events set a precedent for other governments and companies that would want to legislate for better protection laws for workers in the gig economy.

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