Letter of the day

Questions that food delivery riders need to ask themselves

It seems that more Singaporeans in their 20s or 30s are becoming food delivery riders, the writer says. He asks if this is a trend that Singapore should be concerned about.
It seems that more Singaporeans in their 20s or 30s are becoming food delivery riders, the writer says. He asks if this is a trend that Singapore should be concerned about.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A food delivery rider is not an employee of the service provider (which may be GrabFood, Foodpanda or Deliveroo); he is an independent worker who does not get any employment benefits such as employer contributions to his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account, medical leave and paid annual leave.

No work means no pay for him.

It is honest work that is physically demanding as he is out riding, rain or shine, to deliver food to customers on time.

However, riders need to consider these questions:

•Was it their choice to become a rider, or is this just temporary work while looking for a job, perhaps after being retrenched?

•Do they look forward to working every day? Are there new skills to learn?

•Will their experience as a rider help them find another job?

•When they are older or when they are not as physically fit, will they still be able to do the same number of deliveries and earn the same amount of money?

•With no compulsory CPF contributions, do they have adequate savings for old age?

It seems that more Singaporeans in their 20s or 30s are becoming food delivery riders.

Is this a trend that Singapore should be concerned about when its local manpower is a scarce resource?

Mok Yew Kee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2021, with the headline 'Questions that food delivery riders need to ask themselves'. Subscribe