Yesterday, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC Ang Hin Kee urged for more support to be provided for freelancers so as to avoid another situation similar to that of Uber.
Ang spoke in Parliament during the debate for the President’s Address and suggested four ways in which freelancers can be given a helping hand. Citing mainly the example of Uber and the taxi and ride-hailing industry, Ang said that it might help avoid the “bitter aftertaste” left by the Uber situation.
In his speech, he referred to ride-hailing apps as “disruptive technology”, and said that, “Perhaps, disruptive technology brings along with it disruptive management”.
The four methods he proposed:
Firstly, Ang proposed more education for those looking to make a career out of freelancing. He also said that more can be done for freelancers in terms of healthcare.
Ang also said that freelancers should have better access to insurance schemes so as to be able to safeguard themselves in the vent of illness or injury.
Thirdly, Ang suggested that government agencies should set up dispute resolution frameworks that are accessible to freelancers. This is so that, ““Such dispute resolution systems allow freelancers to work through payment disputes with the production houses, schools or taxi operators,” he said, citing the problem of the common man.
Lastly, he cautioned freelancers to be completely aware of what their job entails before they decide to take it up.
He ended his speech saying, “Despite this Uber episode, we want to tell those with the best ideas and technologies to come to our shores,” he said.
He added, “However, an abdication of responsibility is not what we signed up for and should not be allowed to take root here – neither for our freelancers, nor for our workers.”
MP Ang Hin Kee is an executive adviser of the National Taxi Association and the National Private Hire Vehicles Association.