High salary entices Taiwan youth to food delivery despite poor rights

Foodpanda is a subsidiary of German company Delivery Hero. (NOWnews)
Foodpanda is a subsidiary of German company Delivery Hero. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The average monthly wage for a full-time food delivery worker is NT$42,000, 40 percent higher than the average starting salary of college graduates in Taiwan, a recent survey shows.

According to 104 Human Resources, 70 percent of food deliver workers work full time for a monthly salary ranging from NT$20,000 to NT$180,000. The average wage is about NT$12,000 higher than local university graduates who receive NT$30,000.

This is the reason why food delivery might have such tremendous attractiveness to young people, the company’s spokesman Chung Wen-hsiung said, adding that the average age of food-delivery workers is 26.

An UberEATS part-time delivery man surnamed Chiu said he works as a sales in a foreign company. Yet, he’s considering to quit his job and become a full-time delivery worker because of the high wage and flexible working hours, Chung added.

Questions regarding food delivery worker’s working rights were raised recently after two delivery workers, from UberEATS and Foodpanda, respectively, were killed in separate traffic accidents last week.

In response to the issue, the Ministry of Labor said on Monday that workers are the companies’ employees rather than contractors, meaning that they should have received proper insurance and other benefits like other staff members. Yet, the government’s definition is inconsistent with the platforms’ definition of “contract worker.”

Chung said people have to pay more attention to the differences between being an employee and a contract worker since the latter would not be entitled to any benefits.

Another important fact about the survey is that 45 percent of delivery workers have a bachelor’s degree, and 3 percent have a master’s degree.

Chung said food-delivery is not the best career choice though; young people should develop other abilities and skills in their spare time and create a long-term career plan.

The company, 104 Human Resources, collected data from 300 people who were or are working as a food-delivery worker over the past five years.

By Carol Kan