Guard against gig economy creating permanent underclass (Opinion, Page A21)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Irene Ng, who is from the Department of Social Work at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Director of the Social Service Research Centre at NUS; and Professor Lim Sun Sun, Head of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at SUTD. The authors discussed the challenges that arise from gig economy employment of low-wage workers.

They noted that without the security of an organisation that provides employment benefits such as healthcare, insurance and skills upgrading, low-wage workers’ gig economy employment offers limited social mobility. They opined that on the low-wage, low-skills end, the gig economy is really more of a chore economy manned by people performing chores that the wealthy seek to outsource. To avoid entrenching people within the chore economy, the authors also highlighted the need to implement policy safeguards that can offer these low-wage workers the advantages of long-term employment, and public education to apprise them of the value of upskilling.

Click here to read the article.

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