Oliver 19 0 0 4 min to read

Senator fights for fair compensation for “quarantine heroes.”

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Sen. Risa Hontiveros introduced a bill on Tuesday to safeguard the rights and welfare of the so-called quarantine heroes. The latter is growing more prevalent and commonplace in the service sector.

When the senator filed Senate Bill No. 1373, also known as the Protektadong Online Workers, Entrepreneurs, Riders at Raketera (POWERR) Act, she had delivery drivers and other independent contractors in mind.

Hontiveros referred to them as quarantine heroes since they grew during the lockdowns brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak. He also claimed that the bill would require the state to create guidelines for rules relating to delivery riders and internet freelancers.

According to the proposed legislation, online platform employees must get at least the legally required minimum wage, whether paid hourly or per job.

“The POWERR Act’s provisions will empower delivery drivers and independent contractors. The purpose of the POWERR Act is to give delivery riders and independent contractors more control. It also aims to provide them with social protection. With the cooperation of other government organizations, the passage of this bill will provide them with social protection, according to a news release from Hontiveros.

According to the bill, employees must enroll in government social security programs, including the Home Mutual Development Fund, Social Security System, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Maternity benefits must be offered to female employees after giving birth.

“Workers in this industry are more impacted by economic shocks and the absence of clear regulations because employment conditions in the gig economy are frequently uncertain. “They need a consistent income that they can depend on in case of illness, pregnancy, or retirement,” she said. “They also need access to other benefits,” she added.

Workers using online platforms will be able to organize, engage in collective bargaining, and negotiate with their employers once the measure is passed.

Additionally, they will have the right to information regarding any algorithmic system-assisted decision or action that affects their job or working conditions.

Online platforms, particularly delivery riders, will be held accountable for employees’ injuries while performing their jobs.

Online platforms must maintain algorithmic management system transparency and put these under human control.

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