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        DOLE draws the line between ‘freelance’ and ‘employed’ delivery riders

        Know your rights as a laborer
        by Aris Ilagan Jul 28, 2021
        PHOTO: Shutterstock

        The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued an advisory to help set standards in determining work relationships between delivery or courier riders and the companies they work for.

        DOLE aims to help the two parties settle future work-related disputes based on existing laws. This follows the reported suspension of Foodpanda riders who participated in protest actions in Davao City more than a week ago.

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        In a statement, DOLE secretary Silvestre Bello III clarified that delivery riders “who are considered employees of the digital platform company are entitled to the minimum benefits under the Labor Code of the Philippines.”

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        “But those deemed as independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company,” Bello emphasized.

        App-based motorcycle delivery companies often use the term ‘rider-partners’ instead of ‘employees’ when referring to their riders. And since this fast-growing sector is still new to DOLE, the agency has only started drafting standards to define the employer-employee relationship between the riders and the platforms they fall under.

        Bello explained that all delivery riders who are deemed employees of the digital platform company must be accorded the following minimum benefits:

        • minimum wage
        • holiday pay
        • premium pay
        • overtime pay
        • sight shift differential
        • service incentive leave
        • 13th-month pay
        • separation pay
        • retirement pay

        These employees are also entitled to get occupational safety and health benefits such as:

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        • Social Security System remittances
        • PhilHealth remittances
        • Pag-Ibig remittances
        • and others under the existing laws.

        On the other hand, delivery riders considered as independent contractors or freelancers are covered by a contract agreement with their company.

        “The contract or agreement shall stipulate the following provisions, including but not limited to: the payment of fair and equitable compensation, which shall not be lower than the prevailing minimum wage rates and facilitation of registration and coverage under SSS, Pag-Ibig, and PhilHealth,” Bello added.

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        PHOTO: Shutterstock

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