Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Accidents put focus on delivery drivers’ lack of insurance

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer, with CNA

While full-time food delivery drivers have over the past five years earned monthly salaries of NT$20,000 to NT$180,000, according to online recruitment agency 104 Job Bank, recent accidents involving drivers have highlighted their lack of insurance, as most are employed as contractors.

Over the past five years, the number of delivery drivers has increased by about 300, of which 70 percent do deliveries as a full-time job, 104 said, adding that the average salary was NT$42,000.

This is significantly higher than the average salary of NT$30,000 that a new graduate working an office job could expect, it added.

Of those new drivers, 45 percent possess university diplomas, and 3 percent have master’s degrees, showing that food delivery has become a popular option among university graduates, it said.

One part-time driver, surnamed Hung (洪), said in an interview that he drives four to five hours per day and earns NT$10,000, while another, surnamed Chiu (邱), said that he drives daily after his full-time job, as well as on weekends and holidays, and earns an additional NT$15,000.

Most people see the job as part-time due to the lack of insurance, Chiu said, adding that one would need to arrange their own insurance if working the job as a full-time employee.

An increasing number of people are treating food delivery as a full-time job, but they should be aware of the lack of benefits and insurance, 104 vice president Chung Wen-hsiung (鍾文雄) said.

The job differs from regular employment in that drivers are not fully protected by labor laws, he added.

New regulations should be introduced to better protect workers in this growing industry, ensuring that they have accident and vehicle insurance conducive to the needs of the job, Chung said.

One option would be to form trade unions, which could provide collective insurance options for delivery drivers, he said.

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