ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, is pioneering a new approach to taxi driver compensation, diverging from the traditional hirer model, according to TODAY.
A Paradigm Shift in Taxi Driver Employment
Breaking away from the conventional model where drivers operate as hirers, ComfortDelGro’s pilot scheme introduces a full-time employment model. Under this scheme, drivers receive a fixed monthly salary of S$1,800 along with various benefits. Unlike the flexible hirer model, drivers working under this scheme commit to fixed driving hours, providing them with stability and benefits akin to traditional employment.
Key Features of the Scheme
- Fixed Working Hours: Drivers adhere to set driving hours – 11 hours for four days a week or nine hours a day for five days a week.
- Benefits Package: Full-time employee benefits, including annual leave, medical leave, and Central Provident Fund contributions.
- Additional Allowances: A S$50 mobile phone allowance and coverage of fuel costs by ComfortDelGro.
- Performance Bonuses: Drivers meeting daily key performance indicators receive bonuses, though the specific indicators are not detailed.
The company acknowledges the diverse needs of taxi drivers and aims to provide options that align with individual preferences. The scheme aims to enhance driver availability, ultimately reducing wait times for passengers. This pilot initiative is set to run until the end of March, with ComfortDelGro planning to hire up to 50 drivers during the trial period.
Mixed Reactions from Taxi Drivers
While the scheme presents a novel approach to taxi driver compensation, opinions among drivers are divided. Some appreciate the stability and benefits, emphasizing the security offered by full-time employment. However, concerns arise about the adequacy of the S$1,800 monthly salary, with drivers expressing reservations about the risks and challenges associated with extended driving hours.
Several interviewed drivers, while recognizing the appeal of a stable income, deemed the offered monthly salary insufficient. 42-year-old taxi driver Mr Andy Kwan remarked that he might as well work at McDonald’s, where he can earn more than $2,000 pe month and even get free meals daily.
Concerns were raised about the demanding nature of driving, including potential risks and challenges during extended hours. Suggestions for a more competitive salary, considering the evolving economic landscape, were echoed by drivers.