SINGAPORE — The Tripartite Workgroup (TWG) has come up with proposal to help boost freelancers’ Medisave savings, as they called on the Government to study and potentially adopt a model where service buyers pay a portion of their freelancers’ pay to their Medisave accounts.
This was among the seven ideas proposed by the TWG, which was formed last March, following a nine-month study of the challenges faced by freelancers amid the rise of the gig economy.
They include insurance to protect against the loss of income should they suffer injury at work, voluntary standards for written contracts, and greater support for them on matters such as pay disputes.
In response, Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said in a letter to TWG that she has accepted the recommendations, which “will help shape the Government’s strategies” to address concerns raised by self-employed individuals.
“I intend to provide a fuller response during the Committee of Supply parliamentary debates next month,” said Mrs Teo in the letter dated Feb 20.
“This will include an outline of measures to implement the recommendations and the expected timelines.”
Over the last decade, the proportion of freelance workers has remained consistent at about 200,000, which is about eight to 10 per cent of the country’s workforce. Mirroring the trends of Singapore’s labour workforce, self-employed people are also older, more educated and earn higher incomes, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) figures.
In making the recommendations, TWG said that the freelancers’ decisions to be their own bosses was one of the guiding principles, and that “personal responsibility should remain the core principle for their own well-being.”