KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today that Putrajaya has set aside RM75 million to help those affected in the gig economy, under the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan, dubbed Penjana.

He said a National Workforce Committee has been established to monitor and disseminate the money to the necessary parties as well as to ensure the government’s initiatives are undertaken properly.

“We’re setting up a framework to look after the welfare of those involved in the gig economy. We’ve set aside RM75 million for this under two separate schemes.

“We’ve also set up a National Workforce Committee (NWC) to undertake this task. Their duty is to make sure those affected by the pandemic will be given aide under Socso (Social Security Organisation), EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund), MDEC (Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation) and for the Global Online Workforce (GLOW),” said Muhyiddin during his special address today.

The first scheme is in the form of an RM50 million grant in the shape of funds that will be allocated to those who make Socso and EPF contributions.

The second scheme worth RM25 million will be parked under MDEC and GLOW, targeted at revenue earned from international customers.

Muhyiddin said the finance and human resource ministers will chair the NWC along with several representatives from the private and public sectors.

The digital age has given rise to the “gig economy”, describing short-term contractual or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs which come with benefits like medical coverage and statutory savings contributions like for the EPF.

A gig worker is usually paid better than permanent employment because the employer saves money from not having to pay for benefits like insurance, retrenchment payouts and retirement savings.