HR, Youth and Domestic Trade Ministries to form special committee to scrutinise gig economy issues, says deputy minister

Datuk Mahfuz Omar said three ministries selected by the government to sit on the special committee on gig economy are studying the related issues in detail to find a long-term solution. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Mahfuz Omar said three ministries selected by the government to sit on the special committee on gig economy are studying the related issues in detail to find a long-term solution. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Feb 4 — Three ministries selected by the government to sit on the special committee on gig economy are studying the related issues in detail to find a long-term solution, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

He said the special committee was also looking for ways to create a “win-win” situation for workers and employers.

“The special committee, comprising the Ministry of Human Resources, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, had met at the ministerial level to discuss the gig economy issues.

“We have recently formed an officer-level committee chaired by the Ministry of Human Resources secretary-general and they will be focusing on safeguarding the welfare of workers and preventing them from being exploited,” he told reporters here today.

He was met after a Human Resources Ministry townhall session which was attended by northern level stakeholders here today. The stakeholders present included representatives of government agencies, workers and trade unions, employers and employers’ associations and the public.

Gig economy refers to the economic activity that individuals carry out by selling services to others full time or part time.

Mahfuz said at present individuals involved in the gig economy could contribute to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) but the committee was looking for ways to better safeguard their welfare.

“The committee is trying its best to find a solution to ensure that workers in this sector are not exploited by employers,” he said.

Commenting on the townhall session, he said the Ministry of Human Resources was on the right track in drawing up the new Human Resources Policy following several inputs received from the stakeholders who were present.

He said some of the proposed inputs on the policy had touched on aspects of the country’s current human resource needs, including the issue of foreign workers which was given serious attention.

“We are working to reduce foreign workers and at the same time increase the capacity of local workers. Currently, foreign workers in various sectors around the country make up only 15 per cent of the entire workforce,” he said. — Bernama

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