Hong Kong runners working for food delivery app Foodpanda have asked the company to extend its insurance cover after one died in an accident while not not on duty but was on his way to work.
The 59-year-old courier’s family will not receive any payments from the company’s insurance scheme, which the company says only covers accidents while a worker is on the job.
The motorcyclist was involved in an accident with a bus around 7.50am on Tuesday, local media reported. He was due to start working for Foodpanda at 10 a.m. that day.
The deceased’s sister, a dozen Foodpanda delivery workers, and Fay Siu, executive director of the Association for the Rights of Victims of Industrial Accidents (ARIAV), filed the petition at the Foodpanda offices in Causeway Bay on Thursday afternoon.
The sister told reporters that Foodpanda only offered the family HK$10,000 as a consolation payment.
“We strive to run in the sun and in the rain just to make ends meet,” the petition reads. “But if something happens, the insurance, with such a low level of benefits, will not be able to support us and our family.”
“Or maybe we won’t even be covered except during a delivery.”
When HKFP asked why riders should be protected by pre- or after-work accident insurance, Siu Tong – a member of the Riders’ Rights Concern Group and Foodpanda delivery man – said their industry was different.
“Riders, cyclists and walkers – we are always on the road,” he said, adding that their commute to work was more dangerous than for people taking public transport.
Moreover, there were no clear boundaries between working time and free time. “We click a button to go online, and we click the button to go offline…and if you go offline, and the next second you have [into] an accident?” He asked.
Even during a shift, a worker will not be covered by Foodpanda’s insurance unless he has an order since the policy requires him to be on active delivery, he said.
“When we are waiting for orders, we are also working, right?”
While the insurance Politics available on Foodpanda’s website says its coverage will end after a courier completes delivery of an order, the company clarified to HKFP on Friday that the insurance will indeed cover the courier’s entire shift, “including any time of inactivity or break”. Travel to and from work is not covered, however.
Ahmad, a 35-year-old delivery man, added that the insurance also does not cover toilet or meal breaks.
The accident Insurance offered by Deliveroo, Foodpanda’s biggest rival in Hong Kong, starts when a delivery person is online in the app and stops one hour after the worker goes offline.
Riders who signed the petition called on the company to increase payouts and expand its accident insurance coverage, and said it should meet with them to discuss safety, injury and insurance issues .
The petition said previous pay cuts and the employment of more drivers made work less safe, as drivers had to drive faster and work longer hours.
The runners also asked Foodpanda to cover their parking costs and to liaise with the government to secure more parking spaces.
Ahmad said many plazas and housing estates do not provide parking spaces for delivery people, who lived in fear of getting a ticket that would cost 30 to 40 percent of their daily income.
After receiving letters from the deceased rider’s family and colleagues, Pedro Dias, Foodpanda Hong Kong’s COO said they “recognize and understand the seriousness of the issue”.
“I also recognize that we need to make as much effort as possible to prevent and address these issues. We will review the letters shared by the family and by the fleet with the utmost attention and respond accordingly,” he said.
“Lack of basic care”
Foodpanda workers launched a seven-day strike last November after delivery charges were cut. The workers reached an agreement with the company on improved wages and working conditions after a total of 14 hours of negotiations,
On Wednesday, Rider’s Rights Concern Group and ARIAV released an open statement letter demanding that delivery companies improve protection against accidents at work.
They said Foodpanda “lacks basic care” because it didn’t contact the dead man’s family until nine hours after the crash.
Additionally, both organizations said delivery platforms treat drivers as self-employed rather than employees.
The level of accident insurance benefits offered by Foodpanda “is shockingly lower” than what employee compensation orders would require, they said.
Under the assurance of Foodpanda Politics, the maximum claim for accidental death or permanent disability is HK$360,000. The orders call for compensation equal to 36 months’ earnings if an employee aged 56 or over dies from their injuries, with the sum capped at HK$1,281,600.
Foodpanda told HKFP on Thursday that it was deeply saddened by the incident and offered assistance to the family, “providing additional funds and support for funeral arrangements.”
The company added that it provides group accidental personal insurance coverage for all couriers that meets or exceeds industry standards: “Although this accident did not occur during the courier’s shift, we do our best to check with the insurance company for all possible compensation. choice. »
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