Singapore food delivery firms join up to draft worker welfare guidelines

A Grab motorbike helmet is displayed during a news conference in Singapore
A Grab motorbike helmet is displayed during Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Singapore's main food delivery platforms said on Thursday they had formed an association to draft industry guidelines for the welfare of their workers, an unprededented partnership that comes amid heightened concern for the wellbeing of gig workers.

Grab Holdings , Delivery Hero's (DHER.DE) Foodpanda and Deliveroo (ROO.L), said in a statement the new body would develop a code of practice to improve health and safety standards of their delivery riders and merchants.

The move comes as rights groups and governments around the world have voiced concern about the rights of these contract workers, who flourished during COVID-19 lockdowns but are not typically given welfare packages like full-time employees.

Last September, the Singapore government, labour industry and others formed an advisory group to look ito strengthening protections for gig workers in online platforms, specifically delivery persons, private-hire car drivers, and taxi drivers.

Healthcare protection for delivery riders has particularly come under the spotlight due to cases of them being involved in road accidents while delivering meals in the city-state.

The three firms, under the newly formed Digital Platforms Industry Association (DPIA), have been discussing how to better support delivery riders with government stakeholders, the statement said.

Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by John Geddie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.