Youth leaders urge comprehensive strategy for gig economy workers

16 Oct 2023 06:11pm
Call to modernise legislation for gig workers' protection - FILE PIX
Call to modernise legislation for gig workers' protection - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Youth leaders are calling on the government to develop a comprehensive strategy to uplift gig economy workers and redefine the employment landscape.

Umno Youth permanent chairman Wan Agyl Wan Hassan highlighted the importance of skill development for gig economy workers.

"We must ensure that gig workers aren’t confined indefinitely to the gig sector.

"To do this, we need systematic programmes that allow them access to formal training," he told Sinar Daily when contacted.

Wan Agyl, who is also the managing partner at Agyl and Partners, stressed the necessity for legal safeguards for gig workers.

"Modernising the legislation surrounding gig employment is crucial.

"Gig workers should have collective bargaining rights and a guaranteed minimum wage.

"The current definitions in the Workers Act must evolve to classify gig workers accurately.

"Many of them currently fall outside the scope of applicable laws, which makes them susceptible to unjust practices,” he added.

He also highlighted the importance of transparent and equitable platforms to oversee regulations, ensuring fairness for both gig workers and platform providers.

“Understanding both the voices of gig workers and the challenges platforms face in managing this sector is vital," he said.

Addressing the role of major corporations in supporting gig workers, he added, “Offering additional benefits to gig workers is a positive step. "Equipping them with financial literacy skills is also vital, given the inconsistent nature of their income.

"Partnering with the government to establish a supportive framework can be highly beneficial," he said.

Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth Chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said the government must develop a comprehensive plan to encourage gig workers to pursue upskilling and reskilling.

“The gig economy demands a detailed approach.

"Empowering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are vital to our economy, can guide gig workers towards more stable job roles.

“This delineates two types of employment: low-income and high-income jobs, necessitating a multifaceted strategy,” he said.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal added that debating and proposing dedicated legislation for the gig economy is a prudent step.

"While government schemes like Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) are in progress, our primary concern should be aiding the youth in transitioning to secure, future-oriented jobs.

"The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) highlighted a holistic strategy that still requires complete integration into the budget discourse," he added.

Youth programmes

In his 2024 budget speech, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that RM20 million will be provided for Rakan Muda to carry out more youth programmes and that the Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (Tube) programme will be continued with an allocation of RM20 million

In addition, the Tekun youth mobilepeneur scheme will also be continued with an allocation of RM10 million to help youths providing delivery services using motorcycles.

A total allocation of RM393.8 billion was announced by Anwar. This represents a RM5.8 billion increase compared with the RM388 billion that was allocated for 2023.

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