A pair of husband and wife were working as food delivery staff to support their family. However, both of them lost their livelihoods from just one unfortunate incident, Zaobao reported.
The wife was feeling unwell and had a headache while delivering food as she has been suffering from epilepsy. So, her husband took her order and phone to complete the delivery on behalf of his sick wife. Then sibei suay, they both got their accounts banned and lost their livelihood because they violated the regulations.
Mdm Yu (43 years old, unemployed) told the reporters that she and her husband started working as food delivery walkers about three years ago. They have always been performing well in their roles and have received five-star ratings for their services.
“But in July this year, I suddenly felt unwell, and I was diagnosed with epilepsy after admitting into the intensive care unit,” she said.
After being discharged from the hospital, Mdm Yu rested at home for two months before deciding to continue working to support her family.
“As I was still on medication, the doctor explained to my husband that I should not be left alone in case I get a sudden relapse. Therefore, my husband would sometimes be by my side when delivering meals,” she added.
About a few weeks ago, Mdm Yu received an order and was going to deliver food to Tampines, but she suddenly had a headache, “I had already collected the food at the time. And if I cancel the order suddenly, it will cause inconvenience to the customers and affect the company’s reputation.”
Upon knowing her situation, Mdm Yu’s husband then suggests that he help her complete her delivery.
Unexpectedly, after her husband completed the food delivery, he bumped into the delivery company’s enforcement officer who was conducting an inspection when he took the lift downstairs.
“At that point in time, my husband was holding my mobile phone when delivering the food, although he tried to explain the situation, the enforcement officers still banned us from using our accounts to continue to deliver food.”
Mdm Yu said that while she understands that the rules and regulations are set in place by the company to prevent accounts from being abused, but she only hopes that the company can still accommodate for this once, due to their special circumstance.
“My child is still studying. Other than having to deal with $1,000 worth of medical expenses, our living expenses and tuition fees also add up to about $2,000. Now that both of us are banned and we have lost our livelihoods, I don’t know what to do anymore…”
Partial memory loss due to epilepsy
According to Mdm Yu, epilepsy has affected her memory, and she could hardly remember the names of her friends.
Mdm Yu said that after being admitted to the hospital for epileptic seizures, she had lost part of her memory after waking up. There are also times when she could not remember her route and had no choice but to cancel customer orders as a result, which also violated the code of conduct.
“I can’t remember who my friends are, my daily life is also affected. I don’t remember how to cook, wash, etc. I also can’t remember my phone’s password and routes. I had to learn them all over again under the guidance of my family,” Mdm Yu said.
Grab: Sharing accounts endanger user safety
A Grab spokesperson said that sharing accounts endanger the safety of users as well as delivery-partner, and it also violates the code of conduct.
In response to the reporter’s queries, the spokesperson pointed out that the welfare of the food delivery staff is very important to the company, and the company fully understands Mdm Yu’s situation.
However, the company would like to take this to remind the food delivery partners that if they feel unwell, the company strongly recommends that they take a break and avoid accepting orders. And if the food delivery partner feels unwell while delivering the food, he or she should contact the company’s support team for help.
The spokesperson also added that the company’s platform has always adhered to a high standard of security, and the food delivery partners are also aware that sharing accounts are strictly prohibited as they endanger the safety of users and delivery partners.
“In the event of an accident or harassment, the company may not be able to verify its identity, which will cause problems. The company has fully considered all factors and the situation of Mdm Yu and her husband before coming to this decision. This includes other violations besides sharing accounts. We have also met up with Mdm Yu and explained to her why the company has decided on this decision. She has also accepted the decision,” said the spokesperson from Grab.
You see lah you see lah. All these delivery riders, although they got a lot of flexibility unlike those 9-5 jobs, they actually don’t have a lot of protection and benefits, unlike regular employees.
When things like that happen, they got no one to turn to, no one to go to for advice, everything also need to KKBZ (KKBZ = kaki bozhong, ownself take care of ownself).
Maybe that is why the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) keep saying that more protection needs to be given to Self-Employed Person and freelancers like our delivery riders bah.
So that when things like what happened to Mdm Yu happen, at least they are also well protected and got people they can reach out to to help them and to speak up for them.
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