Government set to offer greater protections to food couriers

Taipei-Following a recent spate of traffic accidents involving food couriers, the government hosted a seminar Thursday focused on providing greater protections to those who deliver food.

In order to achieve that goal, the government is looking at drafting more comprehensive guidelines to better protect the safety and rights of food couriers in compliance with the Regulations Governing the Installation of Occupational Safety and Health Facilities, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director-General Tzou Tzu-lien (???).

Food delivery companies that breach these regulations could be fined NT$30,000 (US$980)-NT$300,000, Tzou said after the seminar.

Eight food delivery businesses, including foodomo, food panda, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Lalamove, Quick pick and Cutaway took part in the seminar alongside the industry body Sharing Economy Association, Taiwan (SEAT) and labor officials from Taipei and New Taipei.

During the event, a consensus was reached on the need to build safety-oriented food delivery mechanisms, provide food couriers with labor or commercial insurance and strengthen related measures, according to Tzou.

Earlier the same day, SEAT published a self-disciplinary pledge drafted by its members, including the companies attending the seminar. The pledge states that in the future, food couriers will be offered insurance and their services will be halted or adjusted in bad weather in line with government regulations.

SEAT urged the government to create better working conditions and comprehensive legal protections for food couriers based on the needs of the modern digital economy.

SEAT Chairman Andy Peng (???) voiced hopes that the pledge will serve as a foundation for communication with the government to ensure better protections for food couriers.

The pledge touches on seven key aspects, including insurance protection, road traffic safety requirements, risks facing couriers and suspending or adjusting delivery services in bad weather, Peng said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel