Rights call for delivery bike riders

Rights call for delivery bike riders

Delivery platform operators who fail to declare their delivery riders are considered in violation of labour protection laws, says the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

After receiving complaints, the NHRC found some delivery platforms did not treat riders as their employees and compelled them to absorb expenses, such as uniforms, fuel, and deprecation costs, by themselves.

Supatra Nacapew, a member of the NHRC, said the majority of delivery riders said they get paid for each delivery they make with the rate set by the platform owners not including welfare provisions required by labour protection laws.

Moreover, these riders are not registered as company employees under Section 33 of the Social Security Act.

The companies do, however, provide other privileges, such as insurance, training course and service discounts.

She said these platform operators appear to exert authority over riders by setting various regulations concerning working time, uniform and delivery assignments.

If riders fail to comply, they face punishment which affects working conditions or payment.

Because riders are not considered to be business partners, they have no voice in the meetings or say in the direction of businesses and are left to deal with third parties by themselves when an incident occurs.

According to Ms Supatra, the work of riders equates to contract hiring whereby a person, called the employee, agrees to render services to another person, called the employer, under Section 575 of the Civil and Commercial Code and Section 5 of the Labour Protection Act.

When looking into court rulings in many countries, such as France, the USA, the UK and the Netherlands, these riders are regarded in terms of law as employees of the platform owner.

Therefore, such actions by some delivery platform operators here in Thailand would be deemed a violation of basic human rights.

Following its meeting on March 19, the NHRC has urged delivery platforms to offer wage rates and annual leave in line with employment law.

The NHRC also called on the Labour Ministry consider the impact of enforcing the treatment of riders as employees in the long term.

"Certain measures must be also issued to ensure the fair treatment and protection of delivery riders in accordance with labour protection law," she said.

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