Food delivery services agree to use caution during typhoons

Taipei-A total of 11 food and food delivery companies have agreed not to ask their food couriers to work during typhoon days off or closures due to natural disasters, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Friday.

In a statement issued Friday, the ministry identified the companies as foodpanda, UberEATS, Lalamove, foodomo, Deliveroo, yo-woo, McDonald's, PizzaHut, KFC, Napoli Pizza and Domino's Pizza.

MOL also urged food and food delivery companies to take all steps needed to ensure the safety of their food couriers, for example by providing high-visibility vests and helmets as well as offering related training.

However, instead of hiring employees, some food delivery companies utilize "independent contractors" to deliver food, raising questions as to their legal obligation to follow existing safety and health regulations.

Li Wen-chin (???), head of the Occupational Safety Division under the MOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the companies are required to adhere to the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

According to Article 51 of the Act, individuals engaged in work directed or supervised by responsible people in workplaces, when performing work at the workplace of a business entity, are governed by the act in the same way as laborers employed by said enterprise.

Companies risk a maximum fine of NT$300,000 (US$ 9,553) for occupational injuries due to violations of related regulations, Lee said.

According to the ministry, non-legally binding guidelines on the safety of food couriers will be introduced shortly and are likely to include a clause that couriers are not required to work during typhoon days off, in an attempt to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving them.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel