KUALA LUMPUR: A study on agile workforce has found that 38% of the respondents in Malaysia who are currently in full-time employment are looking to enter the gig economy in the next 12 months.
In a statement today, Zurich Insurance Group said this percentage is significantly higher than the global average of 20% recorded in the study, conducted by Zurich, the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.
“The trend noted in the study substantiates the 2020 Budget’s push for Malaysia’s digital aspiration and charting of economic direction to be an Asean digital powerhouse. It aligns with the nation’s focus of ‘boosting economic growth in the new economic and digital era’ as outlined in the budget.
“Malaysia has identified gig economy as the new source of economic growth which is sustainable and inclusive. The gig economy is expected to be included in the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021–2025 and the government is in the early stages of regulating the sector for the welfare of gig economy workers,” it said.
Zurich said the study also found that freelance work is attractive to individuals because of the flexible schedule, independence from employer, control over schedule and control over workload, in that order.
“As more Malaysians join the gig economy, the low understanding of income protection and insurance will be an increasing cause for concern.
“This self-employed group is exposed to irregular income and is susceptible to income loss when they are unable to work due to even the slightest of situations such as having the flu or family bereavement,” it said.
Zurich Malaysia country head Stephen Clark said the study was an effort to understand and respond to the increasing need for agile protection of a fast-changing workforce.
“We hope the industry can come together to provide sustainable solutions and match them to individual career trajectories. It is vital that the industry evolves alongside the change in workforce trend.
“Our vision is that all Malaysians have some form of protection regardless of work or situation. As a company that cares, Zurich wants to be there for Malaysians in their time of need,” he said.
A total of 18,000 working-age individuals aged 20 to 70 took part in the global survey, including 1,118 Malaysians. – Jan 16, 2020 Bernama