Food delivery companies to bar workers from working on typhoon days

Fewer than half of food couriers in Taiwan expressed support for the government's recent determination that couriers working for five local food delivery platforms are formal employees, even though it entitles them to more labor rights and benefits, a local job bank said Thursday. (NOWnews)
Fewer than half of food couriers in Taiwan expressed support for the government's recent determination that couriers working for five local food delivery platforms are formal employees, even though it entitles them to more labor rights and benefits, a local job bank said Thursday. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Four food delivery platforms have agreed on a self-disciplinary convention that will bar couriers from working on typhoon days or during extreme weather, according to a statement released by the Sharing Economy Association, Taiwan (SEAT, 台灣協作暨共享經濟協會) on Thursday.

The four online platforms include Uber Eats, Deliveroo (戶戶送), GoGoVan and Lalamove, according to the statement. “We are welcoming more businesses to join us,” SEAT Chairperson Peng Shih-pang (彭仕邦) said in the statement.

Foodpanda hasn’t joined the industry’s self-disciplinary convention so far.

Besides weather regulations, the platforms want to take a more active role in educating delivery workers about road safety, including refraining them from using cellphones on the road and controlling their driving speed, according to the statement.

Questions regarding food delivery platform worker’s safety and working rights were raised recently after two delivery workers, from Uber Eats and Foodpanda, respectively, were killed in separate traffic accidents earlier this month.

The Ministry of Labor said last week that workers should be considered as employees rather than contractors, meaning that they should receive proper insurance and other benefits, like other staff members.

Peng pointed out that the current definition of “employee” is unclear, meaning that current regulations cannot apply to new types of jobs such as delivery workers.

Peng said in the statement that the industry’s self-disciplinary convention could help the government and society discuss how to regulate the platform’s delivery workers better, thus improving their working rights.

By Carol Kan