Recently, Grab Malaysia and foodpanda registered their riders under the Social Security Organisation's (SOCSO) SPS Lindung scheme.
The move will now protect 145,000 gig workers across the country.
Among the more than 145,000 gig workers who will be covered by SOCSO include food delivery riders, walkers, and also parcel delivery partners, SOCSO said in a joint statement on 16 July.
According to the statement, foodpanda and Grab have become the first among the 133 service providers in the country to enrol their delivery partners under its Occupational Disaster Scheme.
Its chief executive Datuk Seri Mohammed Azman Mohammed hopes that more service providers will follow suit and support the government's initiative to register, contribute, and protect their delivery partners.
"Taking into account the increasing demand for the gig economy sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the delivery partners is a timely step to ensure their welfare as they are exposed to occupational risk while on road. This is vital so that workers in informal sectors, just like their counterparts in the formal sector, are not deprived of social safety protection," he said.
The SPS Lindung scheme is paid by the government for a year
To ensure that these gig workers are protected and in order to encourage more of them to register, the government will provide assistance in the form of full funding under Plan Two of the Self Employment Social Security Scheme (SKSPS) which is RM232.80 for the coverage period for a year.
Benefits include medical, temporary disablement, permanent disablement, dependants and funeral benefits, constant care allowance, education benefit, and facilities for physical or vocational rehabilitation.
SOCSO, however, stated that as of 9 July the number of delivery partners who have registered and are actively contributing is still low
A total of 64,773 delivery partners have registered and are actively contributing under SKSPS.
They make up about 39% of the 166,189 total gig workers in the country contributing to SOCSO.
"However, when compared to the 2.72 million gig workers recorded by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the number of gig workers contributing to SOCSO is still low at only 6.1%," the statement said.
Last year, a study found that gig work that was once a side job has now become a major source of income for close to 250,000 gig workers: