The airasia Super App has announced on August 4 that it will be offering its airasia food and airasia xpress gig riders in Malaysia full-time employment, effective immediately.
As part of its commitment to giving delivery riders a better working environment and job stability, the recent employment news intends to enhance income opportunities.
airasia’s initiative is coming in as a timely one as well. The Star reported that a delivery rider strike is happening as of today (August 5), due to the lack of job security and unstable income.
Riders are asking for fair wages to compensate for their extended time and effort on the road to make up for the rising cost of living.
“As many people know, gig riders do not have anyone protecting their interests as it is not regulated and sometimes results in suppressed wages and almost no welfare benefits,” Regional Head of airasia food, Tan Suan Sear, told Vulcan Post.
“We want to do the right thing by being ahead of the industry. We want to provide surety of income and enable our delivery riders to carry out their duties safely and confidently.”
Inside the package
Claiming to be the first in Asia to transition its gig workers into full-timers, airasia food and airasia xpress riders will receive a base monthly salary of RM3,000. Based on performance, riders can also earn extra incentives.
This is in addition to a full suite of Allstar benefits. This will include EPF, SOCSO, medical coverage (covering spouses and children as well), annual leaves, travel benefits, and free personal accident coverage, amongst others.
There will also be career advancement opportunities across the entire Capital A organisation, the team told us.
“We don’t believe in contract staff and will now move towards employing all riders as full-time employees, receiving the same benefits that every Allstar receives,” CEO Tony Fernandes said in the press statement.
Being full-time employees, riders will have to clock in a minimum of eight hours according to their duty roster. Any additional orders completed will be part of their extra incentives as well.
“All riders’ activities will be tracked via the airasia Super App, which will give us a better understanding of its riders’ job take-up rate, performance, location, and other data that will help them complete their jobs better,” added Suan Sear.
The position is currently available to those in Klang Valley and Penang. It also offers an option for riders to join on a freelance basis where they will be paid according to trips.
As freelance riders, they will be compensated as per the number of orders completed per day.
Bringing them onboard
Currently, airasia has a fleet of over 20,000 riders registered on its platform regionally, according to Suan Sear.
Having already onboarded 20 permanent riders, the team will begin converting all its delivery riders into full-time employees while welcoming new ones to join.
airasia made clear during its press conference that it has no intention of limiting the number of applications.
Head of delivery, Lim Ben-Jie said at the launch event that the company will have a proper screening process before hiring the riders.
New riders joining as full-time riders will also undergo rider training and a three-month probation period.
The management team will evaluate each Allstar based on their performance in tandem to set targets and goals throughout their probation period.
Who bears the cost?
Because airasia will be paying each rider a base salary of RM3,000 a month, how will this affect its customers?
When probed, Suan Sear shared that airasia is expecting an improvement in completion rates and better services for its customers.
“Each rider will be professionally trained with the same level of quality as every cabin crew in our airline business to ensure that our riders deliver the same quality of service to our app users who order food or parcel deliveries,” he explained.
With full-time employment and guaranteed income, the team believes riders will no longer need to endure dangerous working conditions to fulfill ridiculous amounts of deliveries to earn enough.
“Now, they can deliver and meet their targets with safety and confidence,” Suan Sear hoped.
When asked if the delivery fees would be hiked up to afford airasia’s full-time riders, Suan Sear implied that this cost would be borne by the company.
“While operational costs will increase in the short-term, we are actually investing in our people, which we believe will bear fruit in the long term as they grow as Allstars,” he said.
It’s encouraging to see more companies that base their business models around gig workers take the initiative to offer them some level of job security.
The strike by delivery riders mentioned above is a way of giving companies some awareness about the effects gig workers feel towards coping with the rising cost of living, and airasia’s efforts in improving these conditions are commendable.