Prevent and resolve the occupational injury risk of food delivery staff

How to Weave a "Safety Net" for Flexible Employers

  In May 2020, Lao Chen, a takeaway rider on an online catering platform in Beijing, was hit by a motor vehicle and fractured during the delivery of meals. He spent more than 20,000 yuan in hospital expenses, but the insurance company only reimbursed a small amount of the expenses. The company neither does work injury appraisal for Lao Chen nor gives him corresponding compensation. Lao Chen who cannot get work injury compensation can only go home to recover from his injury.

During the interview, the reporter found that many takeaway riders did not know much about the details of social security and work-related injury insurance related to their own interests.

"For work-related injuries, the company guarantees full compensation, but has not signed a contract." said Wang Zhiguo, a delivery member of a food delivery platform.

  Occupational injuries have become a pain point for takeaway riders and couriers. The protection of the rights and interests of flexible employees, especially the determination of labor relations, has become the focus of social attention.

  Recently, the relevant state departments issued the "Guiding Opinions on Implementing the Responsibilities of Online Catering Platforms and Effectively Protecting the Rights and Interests of Food Delivery Workers" and "Guiding Opinions on Maintaining the Labor Security Rights and Interests of Workers in New Employment Forms", aiming to improve the system and complement the rights and interests of employees Guarantee shortcomings.

  "This shows that the government attaches great importance to platform employment. It also shows that it is an urgent matter to determine a basic policy framework for platform employment and safeguard the labor rights and interests of flexible employees." Beijing Yilian Labor Law Aid and Research Center Director and labor law research expert Huang Le Ping said.

  In the two "Opinions" jointly issued by multiple departments, preventing and resolving the occupational injury risk of takeaway food delivery personnel, and strengthening the occupational injury protection of flexible employees have become the top priority.

  The "Guiding Opinions on Implementing the Responsibilities of Online Catering Platforms and Effectively Protecting the Rights and Interests of Food Delivery Staff" proposes that online catering platforms and third-party cooperating units shall participate in social insurance for food delivery staff who establish labor relations in accordance with the law, and encourage other food delivery staff to participate Social insurance.

Participate in the pilot occupational injury guarantee for flexible employment personnel on the platform in accordance with national regulations to prevent and resolve the occupational injury risk of food delivery workers.

Encourage to explore the provision of diversified commercial insurance protection schemes based on the employment characteristics of the platform, to ensure that the payment is fully insured, and to improve the level of multi-level protection.

  "The policy tone is in line with the characteristics of the platform economy. It is both realistic and future-oriented. It is a favorable policy framework for platform economy practitioners represented by the food delivery industry." Professor of Peking University Law School , Xue Jun, director of the Research Center for E-commerce Law of Peking University, pointed out that “With the development of the platform economy, the employment relationship based on the platform organization structure is a brand-new cooperation mode of labor resources, which is largely different from traditional labor. Relationship, but it is also different from the pure employment relationship between independent civil entities, and presents a unique intermediate form."

  In recent years, the number of workers in new forms of employment has increased substantially.

At present, the number of flexible employment personnel in my country has reached 200 million.

According to statistics, in 2020, there will be about 84 million service providers in the sharing economy. Most of the flexible employees, including takeaway riders, have not signed labor contracts with the platform, and it is difficult to directly confirm the labor relationship. Therefore, they will not be able to enjoy work injury and unemployment insurance. It is also difficult to participate in employee pension and medical insurance at the place of employment.

  The "Opinions" proposed that if the company does not fully comply with the conditions for establishing labor relations, but the company conducts labor management on employees (hereinafter referred to as "not fully comply with the conditions for establishing labor relations"), guide the company and employees to enter into a written agreement to reasonably determine the company and employees Rights and obligations.

  Xue Jun believes that this means that the regulatory authorities clearly recognize the third type of employment relationship that is compatible with the development of the platform economy, such as food delivery staff and online car drivers, that is, "not fully consistent with the establishment of labor relations."

This policy concept of advancing with the times to define the labor relationship of the platform avoids the problem of "new wine in old bottles" at a fundamental level, and makes platform operators no longer bound to the traditional labor relationship policy framework.

  The "Guiding Opinions on Maintaining the Labor Security Rights and Interests of Workers in New Employment Forms" proposes to strengthen occupational injury protection, focusing on platform companies in industries such as travel, food delivery, instant delivery, and intra-city freight, and organizing pilot occupational injury protection for platform flexible employees , Platform companies should participate in accordance with regulations.

  Qiao Qingmei, an associate professor at the School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, believes that it is imminent to organize and launch a pilot program for flexible employment personnel occupational injury protection on the platform.

For flexible employees, the most urgent need to solve right now is the problem of work injury insurance.

Otherwise, the flexible employees will encounter injuries in the process of work. Once they withdraw from the labor field, the whole family will be in trouble.

  “At present, many flexible employment platforms provide employees with commercial insurance, which is paid by the practitioners personally. This is obviously inappropriate.” Qiao Qingmei said, “my country’s “Work Injury Insurance Regulations” came into effect on January 1, 2004. There are already many places where it is not applicable, and the improvement of employee injury insurance for flexible employees, including takeaway brothers, can be used as an opportunity to amend the law. With the changes in labor and working methods, a universal occupational injury that is different from the current work injury insurance system can be established. The guarantee system will be inevitable."

  Some experts suggest that through social security plus commercial insurance, a basic and supplementary multi-level security system can be formed to further protect the social security rights of food delivery staff.

  It is worth noting that the two documents issued this time clarify the importance of trade unions, and require companies to formulate and revise platforms for entry and exit, order distribution, piece rate unit prices, percentages, remuneration composition and payment, working hours, rewards and punishments, etc. Regarding the system rules and platform algorithms related to the rights and interests of workers, fully listen to the opinions and suggestions of labor unions or workers' representatives, and publicize the results and inform the workers.

  A few days ago, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions issued a notice to launch the “Concentration Action for Workers' Enrollment in New Employment Forms” nationwide, and strive to establish more than 240,000 grassroots trade union organizations and 16 million new union members nationwide by the end of December 2022. Among them, four groups of newly developed truck drivers, online ride-hailing drivers, couriers, and takeaway delivery personnel have more than 8 million members, and the new employment forms are organized into labor unions to the greatest extent.

  China Youth Daily·China Youth Daily reporter Li Guijie and intern Zhang Feng Source: China Youth Daily