Most gig workers okay with salary deductions for protection, survey shows

A majority of gig workers are working ‘full-time’ hours.

PETALING JAYA: More than half of Malaysians involved in the gig economy say that their jobs are their main source of income, according to a recent survey by The Centre think tank.

As such, a majority of those surveyed said they did not mind pay deductions in order to have social security.

“The majority of gig workers surveyed do not have social security such as insurance or emergency savings.

“However, more than two-thirds of respondents indicated that they were willing to have pay deductions in exchange for various types of protection,” said The Centre in a statement.

The survey of more than 400 gig workers, which The Centre defines as an individual that delivers on-demand services using digital gig platforms such as Grab or Foodpanda, also found that 74% of the respondents earned less than RM3,000 a month.

The Centre said that based on the reported number of hours worked, 58% of respondents are effectively working “full-time” hours and 19% working “part-time” hours.

Under the Employment Act 1955, “full-time” work is defined as no more than 48 hours per week while “part-time” work is defined as 30% to 70% of full-time hours.

The Centre estimates that Malaysia has around 250,000 gig workers.

The think tank added that more than two-thirds of gig workers surveyed hoped to continue doing gig work for another year or more, signalling gig work as an income-earning option for the foreseeable future – particularly for those without higher education.

Noting that the rise of the gig economy has changed conventional notions of employment, The Centre stressed that ensuring legal and social security for gig workers – who lacked access to benefits such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) – would be crucial in dealing with the constantly changing labour market.