Feedback sought on top concerns of freelancers in future economy

A tripartite workgroup formed in March this year to study the issues faced by self-employed persons (SEPs), or freelancers, is inviting the public to give feedback on what will be their top concerns in the future economy.

Comprising members from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation, the group said it noted several concerns during their engagements with SEPs.

These include getting paid late (or not getting paid at all or fully), ineligibility for employment benefits, as well as the uncertainty of finding sufficient work and fluctuating income.

The group, which is aiming to gain a more in-depth understanding of the challenges SEPs face and possible solutions, is seeking feedback on the consultation paper posted on the Reach website.

It defines SEPs as people who operate their own trade or business. They work in diverse occupations and include taxi drivers, real estate and property agents, private hire car drivers and private tutors.

A survey conducted by MOM in August last year, focusing solely on the 200,000 or so freelancers here, found that the share of SEPs in the workforce has remained at about 8 to 10 per cent for the past decade.

But the group feels that they may benefit from some enhanced protection from employers, noting that self-employment may become more prevalent in the future.

Members of the public can e-mail their feedback to, with the title "Consultations on SEPs' Top Concerns in the Future Economy", by 6pm on Dec 22.

The group will subsequently consolidate and publish a summary of the key comments received.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2017, with the headline 'Feedback sought on top concerns of freelancers in future economy'. Subscribe