Currently, many freelancers do not enjoy benefits such as insurance, training support, or even CPF contributions.
In fact, they have to bear these costs themselves.
In addition, freelance food delivery drivers carry the risk of injury and illness in their work.
As a result, the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) created two new groups to represent the professional and self-employed (FSE).
One is for delivery drivers and the other for professionals for creative content.
FSE delivery drivers are represented by the National Delivery Champions Association (NDCA), while FSE creatives are represented by the Visual, Audio, Creative Content Professionals Association (Singapore) (VICPA).
If you’re a creative freelancer or grocery delivery driver, here’s what you can expect from this new initiative.
Freelancers are one of the hardest hit groups during Covid-19
Photo credit: Nikkei Asia
Many freelancers lost their gigs when companies started cutting their expenses after the outbreak.
As a result, the government launched the Covid-19 Support Grant earlier this year to provide financial assistance to freelancers and local businesses.
The coronavirus crisis has put the spotlight on much of the gig workers’ long-term struggles.
While the gig economy offers flexibility, workers have limited access to unemployment benefits, health insurance or sick leave.
In addition, many grocery delivery drivers have disrupted their income streams following the personal mobility device ban.
The government stepped in and awarded a $ 7 million grant to help food delivery drivers replace their electric scooters.
Photo credit: Stomp / Facebook
In addition, many deliverers currently bear the risk of injury and illness themselves.
Like creative freelancers, they don’t have access to benefits like health insurance or sick leave.
If they get sick or have to say goodbye to work, they are not compensated and lose their daily income.
What freelancers can expect
In terms of safety, NDCA will work to provide members with access to insurance coverage in the event of loss of income.
NDCA members also benefit from all NTUC benefits such as death and total and permanent disability insurance, training support and monetary support like the NTUC Care Fund (Covid-19).
Photo credit: adib rawi yahya / theSun
The association will continue to work with government partners to ensure members receive support and guidance for the upcoming mandatory online theory test for powered bikes and e-scooters.
In the meantime, VICPA will focus on issues such as the lack of industry benchmarks to measure the value of services.
The group plans to develop a professional code of ethics to guide trading practices and determine how buyers value the service provided by VICPA members.
A much needed initiative for freelancers
With the self-employed being one of the hardest hit groups in Singapore, this new initiative is useful.
It is known that the self-employed have limited access to unemployment benefits, health insurance or sick leave, or are not entitled to them.
Since they are not official employees of companies, they are usually not protected by companies.
Some of them may not have taken out insurance to protect themselves.
As a result, this NTUC initiative can help ensure that these people are well protected and supported in the event of a loss of income.
NTUC has been supporting FSEs since the beginning of the year through measures such as its short-term aid fund, from the NTUC training fund for the self-employed to the administration of the income relief program for the self-employed.
Selected image source: Nikkei Asia / Malay Mail