Working in the gig economy: No 9-5 grind but it's not an easy ride

Sure, the huge numbers of food delivery riders and Grab drivers show how the landscape of work (and footpaths) has changed. No more 9-5 grind, with seven in 10 workers surveyed by an Insight poll reporting that they earn better wages than in their previous jobs. But with no benefits, no CPF and no long-term career prospects, Insight looks at whether it's a boon or bane.

Food delivery riders and ride-hailing drivers may be earning more than in their previous jobs, but they could be vulnerable because of the lack of labour protection and opportunities for skills training, limiting their prospects for social mobility.
Food delivery riders and ride-hailing drivers may be earning more than in their previous jobs, but they could be vulnerable because of the lack of labour protection and opportunities for skills training, limiting their prospects for social mobility. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

It promised so much - and transformed the word "gig" into something sounding cool.

That's the gig economy, where, even without qualifications, you can sometimes earn as much as a white-collar worker, while doing flexible hours that suit you.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 17, 2019, with the headline Working in the gig economy: No 9-5 grind but it's not an easy ride. Subscribe